Growing Pains

with Rosie Jones - Osteopath Swansea Body Kinetics


Senior Man Suffering From Back Pain Whilst GardeningThere is nothing more pleasant than sitting and enjoying a summer garden, and gard-ening can be fantastic exercise. However, as the gardeners amongst us know, there is a lot of hard work that goes in to creating a lovely space. Working too hard in the garden can sometimes lead to injuries, especially if you already have some problems. However, there is a lot that can be done to help you take care of yourself; follow these handy tips to help you stay out of trouble.


Consider your gardening tools carefully! If you suffer with lower back pain for example, use tools with a long handle rather than tools that require you to bend down all the time. Small shears can be kept in a holster at the waist saving you bending down to pick them up all the time. Be careful with watering cans too, a heavy watering can, can put a lot of pressure through the wrist and lower back whilst leaning forwards to water plants. Try mak-ing more than one trip with the can half full instead.

There’s also a special gardening tool known as a ‘kneeler’. This provides padding for the knees and also helps you get up and down with the extra help of your arms. I would recommend moving the kneeler around the garden so you are not twisting and over stretching to reach what you are working on. It is also a good idea to try and work symmetrically so that it is not always the same muscles being worked. This can help to prevent repetitive strain type injuries. Finally, making sure that your tools are sharp and in good working order can also save you extra work! A blunt set of shears will make trimming branches a lot tougher on the wrists, arms and even the lower back.

Support yourself

Know your limits and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and perhaps the weeds will take more than a day too! I often hear from patients who have relaxed all winter and suddenly jump in at the deep end once spring has sprung. This is a perfect way to injure yourself! Try treating a day of gardening like a sport in which you warm up gently, take regular breaks and have a stretch off afterwards. If you know you already have certain injuries you need to be careful of then there are lots of different supports for unsteady knees, or sore elbows available.

Bear in mind your general fitness; the fitter and stronger you are, the easier your work in the garden will be. So it is worth attending a local yoga group or getting out and about all year round.

If you do end up getting pain or problems from work in the garden, we are here to help you get back on your feet and out there again! As osteopaths we can deal with lots of different injuries including: back and neck problems, disc problems, sciatica and trapped nerves, spondylitis, hip and knee pain, shoulder pain, arthritic pain, repetitive strain, whiplash, headaches, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, various sprains and strains (including wrist and hand!) and more. So do give us a call for a chat to see if we can help you! – Clinic at The Natural Health Service, 2 Page Street, Swansea SA1 4EZ

Tel: 07540 45328 Email:



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