As well as being a keen gardener since childhood, I have been treating gardening injuries for over twenty years… and I have never yet told anyone to stop gardening. But you can make life a lot easier for yourself, particularly at this time of the year when the emphasis lies on tidying up and getting things ready for the winter. So here are our team’s top tips for pain free Autumn gardening.
Look at the tools you’re using
· Buy light aluminium tools
· A fist and arm support can be added to handles to help lifting
· Ensure the handles of rakes and brooms are long enough for you not to have to bend at the waist and to keep your back straight when working
· Use a long handled dustpan and brush to avoid bending
· Keep the cutting edge of tools SHARP – and that includes spades, hoes and bulb planters
Think before you start side-on activities such as raking or sweeping
· Use a light aluminium rake or broom
· Do some gentle warm up stretches
· Work in short bursts
· Keep hips and shoulders moving towards the work
· Do not twist your back
· Avoid bending at the waist by stepping forward with one foot and bending slightly at the knee, allowing your upper body to stay upright in a partial lunge
· Ask yourself whether you have to rake at all?