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Stronger, More Flexible, Pain-Free Readers

My name is Natalie March from Physio-logical, a Chartered Physiotherapist based within MyFitness Hub in PO9. We have some exciting news we now have a satellite clinic offering Physiotherapy, acupuncture and sports massage in Rowlands Castle. I hope you found our last self-help exercises for lower back pain useful.

Now that the better weather is here, many of us are feeling inspired to get out into the garden and start digging! Today we will share with you a few physiotherapy tips to help avoid some common gardening injuries.

Is it important to do a few stretches before and after gardening. No-one would consider running a marathon or going to the gym without doing a warm-up. You are going to do some moderate exercise so it is important to prepare your body.

Gardening Tips

  • Plan your workload – it is important to have a few tasks on the go at the same time, but work a little on each every time you go into the garden, your body will much prefer the variety of tasks.
  • Pace yourself - do not try and dig the whole vegetable patch in one morning, your back and muscles will find it very strenuous.
  • Pruning – do this in moderation it puts a lot of strain on your forearm muscles which can lead to tennis elbow, try and use two hands for tough pruning, also stretching out your forearm muscles will help to reduce muscle soreness.
  • Consider your equipment – use long handled tools if you have problems with your hips, knees or your back
  • Use a kneeler – this will reduce the pressure through the knees
  • Don’t overfill the wheelbarrow – it is better to make a few extra journeys with a lighter load
  • Maintain good posture - squat down and bend at the knees, kneel whilst planting or weeding, don’t just bend at your back.
  • Set a timer to tell you when to have a break, or you may lose track of time and just keep going.

Gardening Self Help Exercises
Here are some simple exercises to do before and after gardening.

Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP before exercising or send an email to ( for advice and guidance:
Lumbar Spine Side Flexion

  • Stand with your arms by your side
  • Slowly bend sideways by sliding your hand down your thigh towards the floor.
  • Slowly return to neutral position and repeat on the other side
  • Repeat five times on each side hold the last once for a thirty second stretch on each side.

Thoracic Spine Rotation

  • Sitting, cross your arms over your chest and rotate round to the right then left
  • Repeat five times on each side hold the last once for a thirty second stretch on each side.

Shoulder Rolls and Shrugs

  • Roll your shoulders forwards and backwards
  • Shrug your shoulders up and down
  • Repeat each movement five times

Forearm Stretches

  • Extend one arm out with elbow straight and use the other hand to grasp it at the side of the thumb and bend the wrist downward.
  • Then, face your palm up and pull your hand back gently to feel a stretch in the forearm
  • Hold each stretch for thirty seconds repeat twice

If you want to make sure you are gardening fit or you are struggling with any niggles, aches or pains which are preventing you from enjoying your gardening then please get in contact with us via, 07835 712306 or book online book online via as we can help you to today.

Happy gardening!

Posted on Tue, April 17 2018