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Peak Physical Therapy
Helping you every step of the way



We hope everyone has been enjoying the summer!  In this edition of our newsletter, we will be giving you some helpful hints for gardening.  As well, we have some new 3-D videos up on our website, see below for more details!

Get Great at Gardening 

Gardening is a great way to enjoy time outdoors, be more physically active, reduce stress and grow your own nutritious fruits and vegetables.  It can also be a strenous and time consuming activity.  When gardening, we have to hold ourselves in many different positions, often for long periods of time.  This can lead to stressed and strained muslces and joints.  Peak Physical Therapy wants all of our patients to continue their rewarding gardening work while staying pain free! 

To help keep you safe and healthy so that you can enjoy the full bounty and beauty of your garden, here are a few tips from your physiotherapist at Peak Physical Therapy:

Prepare Yourself

Many people rush into their gardens as soon as they can, only to return hours later aching and exhausted. As with any physical activity, a good warm up is essential for preparing your body for the task ahead.

Start gradually by walking briskly around your garden. This will allow you to assess what needs to be done while helping raise your pulse and body temperature.

Get your muscles and joints ready to work by doing some gentle dynamic stretching. Roll your shoulders and arms backwards, gently rotate your trunk and pelvis, and squat down to the ground while keeping your back straight. Repeat these motions for a few minutes before you start digging holes and pulling weeds.

Protect Your Back

Simple gardening tasks can strain the lower back.  There are a number of recommendations your Peak physiotherapist has made to help prevent back pain:

Instead of bending over to pull weeds, plant or do other tasks close to the ground, kneel on a soft cushion.  Use tools with long handles to avoid repetitive bending when hoeing, digging, raking or shoveling. Also consider the weight of your tools as heavy tools can tire your muscles quickly.

Avoid staying in one position for extended periods of time. Take a break every 15 to 30 minutes to stretch your arms, shoulders and back.   Use a wheelbarrow instead of carrying heavy bags of soil, mulch or fertilizer.

Never lift anything by simply bending over. Instead, let your leg muscles do most of the work. Grip the object while squatting, and then lift by raising your entire body, keeping your weight over your legs.  As well, hold the object close to your body as this will lessen the load and strain on your shoulders.

Other Important Things to Consider

Choose the right protective gear for the tasks you plan to accomplish, including safety goggles, long pants, gloves, insect repellent, and sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.   

Wear sturdy shoes that provide support and fit you properly. This means no sandals! You may even consider shoes with a steel toe for additional protection when using a mower or when lifitng heavy objects.

Be sure to drink plenty of water, especially on hot summer days. This will help decrease fatigue and keep you hydrated. If you wait to have a drink once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated!

For more tips on how to prevent common gardening injuries or to discuss the benefits of having an injury prevention assessment before you pick up your trowel, talk to the trained, licensed physiotherapists at Peak Physical Therapy. 

If you have already been hurt while gardening or participating in another physical activity, one of our Peak physiotherapists would be happy to assess your injury and create a program that will get you back into the great outdoors. 

Call Peak Physical Therapy to make an appointment or to ask any questions you may have.

3D Video Time!

We have added 6 new 3-D videos to our hip anatomy article.  Click here to view them.  We will be adding these videos to other hip related articles in the near future.

We've also added more information on the following topics:

Quadriceps Tendonitis

Biceps Tendonitis

Hip Arthroscopy

Arthritis (updated article) 

Check Out Our New Sports Sections!

Visit today to find out more on:

Tennis Squash
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