Planting, hoeing, transplanting and pruning can also cause many injuries, some of which include back pain, “pins and needles” sensation in fingers, reduced grasping strength, cold fingers, numb hands, numb fingers, repeated wrist motion injury (where you use the same movement for long periods of time), using poorly designed tools, pounding with hands, pushing with fingers, and even electrocution due to covert cables or wires).
Always exercise caution when planting, hoeing, transplanting and pruning. To do this, follow these simple suggestions to minimize injury:
- When digging, switch hands to utilize both arms.
- Use a small watering can, or if you feel you can handle a more rigorous exercise, use the heavy hose to water the yard. You will not only have to use your muscles to unwind the hose, but to put it away.
- Always warm up before doing any physical work, such as walking or gentle stretching.
- Remember to always bend your knees and keep your back straight whenever lifting or carrying items.
- Change your daily routine! Never do your yard chores all in one, especially if you are still in the process of recuperating. Do chores in sections and break them up to a few days. For example, rake a section, clean the gutters, trim some hedges, plant flowers, remove weeds and then go back to raking leaves.
- Drink plenty of water to remain sufficiently hydrated.
- Wear proper clothing and protective gear.
- Try not to kneel for a prolonged time (switch your routine every hour or so).
If you are currently recovering from an injury and would like to start working on your yard / garden before the first snow falls, you can consider these alternatives:
- Use a weed-whacker to remove weeds; however, this equipment requires back movement and some twisting. You can turn to spraying chemicals to get rid of weeds until you are able to fully move and use your body.
- Use long-handled weeding tools, which will enable you to remove weeds without bending down. This will require back movement, some twisting and arm movement. You can sit or stand while doing this activity.
- Start of slow, or with the smallest weeds and build up to the bigger more dense areas of your garden / yard.
- Ask some of the kids in your neighborhood to pull weeds in exchange for a few dollars. Kids like a challenge and are eager to learn and try something new, even if it is about gardening. Besides, you will get them out of the house and do some physical work.
Doing yard work is beneficial to your health! Grow! Plant! Weed! Just enjoy the outdoors. Weeding, mulching, digging and raking are all good forms of exercise. Get your hands dirty and include back yard work as part of your daily, healthy lifestyle.
Check out our other backyard injury-related articles:
The above suggestions are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon as instructions for rendering medical help or advice. They are based solely on illustrative purposes. Morici, Figlioli & Associates (MFA LAW) does not make any warranty, expressed or implied for any products or suggestions mentioned, or any techniques or practices described.