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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • May 2018
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Gardening: Don’t do too much too soon

The days are getting longer; soon it will be gardening season and time to work on your yard and plant your garden.

Gardening can be a relaxing and enjoyable form of exercise, but if done improperly it can result in injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2010, more than 41,000 Americans injured themselves while gardening and more than 127,000 were injured while operating a lawn mower. Many common injuries including tendonitis, sprains and strains can be prevented with proper technique like bending at the knees when lifting instead of from the back or securing and stabilizing a ladder before climbing. While these conditions are not often serious, they can be very painful. If ignored they can lead to further injury and chronic pain if not properly treated.

While gardening and yard work are excellent forms of exercise, after a long winter of inactivity people tend to do too much too soon. It is very important to have a warmup and cool down routine while gardening. Take frequent breaks, do not garden for longer than 20-30 minutes at a time, drink plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun. Alternate sides when using equipment as often as possible to balance muscle usage and change your stance and motion frequently.

When lifting, take your time and always lift from a crouching position with your legs bent and your back straight and carry heavier items low down and pressed against your body so that there is less leverage and stress on your back. Avoid bending and reaching while weeding or planting. Instead kneel down using a cushion or knee pads for comfort. It is very important to stretch your lower back, hamstrings, quadriceps and forearms.

If you do experience any back or neck pain, stop what you are doing and use ice on the area injured. If the pain persists, see a chiropractor and they can help you recover and get back in your garden.


Dr. Bradley P. Donnermeyer

Bradley Donnermeyer, D.C., is a board-certified chiropractor at Nussbaum Chiropractic. He enjoys working with the entire family to have a healthier lifestyle and become pain-free. He is also a certified medical examiner for DOT physicals. Nussbaum Chiropractic, 873 N. Casaloma Drive in Appleton. Call 920-734-2400 to get started on a better path to health!

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