Tips to pain-free gardening

Gardeners can lessen the aches and pains that can come from growing plants at home by heeding the advice of gardening expert and author Melinda Myers.

Vertical gardening: Grow plants on a blank wall, fence or post. Height makes gardening easier and creates visual interest.

Choose tools wisely: Look for ergonomic grips, long handles and ratcheted tools to keep posture upright, provide more power and make the grip easier.

Leverage heavy loads: Split up large loads into smaller increments. Use everyday items such as a wagon or winter sled to move supplies around.

Take breaks: Work fiveminute breaks into gardening to lower the likelihood of injury.

Try easy back bends from the waist and don’t work for more than 20 to 30 minutes straight.

Stay attentive to weather and flexibility. Do additional stretches or warm-ups if the joints are feel stiff or cold.

Keep tools sharp: File trowels, shears and shovels. Dull tools mean more strain.

Pain relief: For those who follow all these tips and still wind up with back pain or whoalready have joint or low back pain, alleviate acute pain with heat or ice treatments, exercise and stretching techniques Visit a health care provider, such as a physical therapist or chiropractor, if after four weeks the pain has not lessened.

Try over-the-counter medications or electrotherapy greatment that uses Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation technology.

Courtesy of North American Precis Syndicate Inc.

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