Gardening brings many health benefits such as getting us outdoors breathing fresh air and helping to burn calories. But the downside involves the stress, strain and sometimes downright pain it can bring to our bodies, particularly our hands. Help care for yourself with these tips:
- During cooler periods such as early spring, plan to garden during the warmest time of the day as cooler temps can impact movement and aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
- Use wrist supports to keep the wrist in a neutral or immobilized position.
- Avoid pushing with the thumb whenever possible.
- Avoid pounding or pushing with your hands.
- Use a full grip when you pick up and move tools, containers and other materials instead of pinching and lifting them with your fingers.
- Rely on a drip irrigation system to water the garden and a sprinkler system throughout your landscape to water the lawn and other plants. This relieves you of the chore of grabbing onto and dragging hoses around the yard and attaching/un-attaching the sprinklers. The time saved on watering alone will give you more time to relax. Your muscles and joints will appreciate the break in the action to recover from those gardening tasks you absolutely need to do