Thursday, 5 April 2018

Dig this technique


Do you find gardening whilst enjoyable, is quite often literally a pain in the neck and back? Gardening is a relaxing and enjoyable form of exercise, but it can pose health risks if you're not careful. 
There's good news for gardeners who suffer from aches in the lower back, neck, shoulders and knees – better digging techniques should help reduce the pain. 
Researchers from the RHS and Coventry University used Lords of The Rings- style 3D motion capture to pinpoint good and bad techniques. 
This biomechanical modelling found that bad digging posture doubles the load on some joints and puts many of Britain’s 27 million gardeners at risk. 
Analysis of the 3D film of volunteers digging found that minimal back bend combined with maximum knee bends and regular repetitive digging was the best technique. 
Bending forward a long way and stretching limbs to dig can double the load on joints and cause muscle problems, which can lead to chronic injuries. 
Researchers found bad techniques increased strain in the lower back by half as much again and doubled loads on the shoulders, increasing the risk of osteoarthritis. 
Raking, which also uses upper body muscles, required a similar technique to digging, while the same care is also needed in transplanting seedlings and weeding, even though they are lower intensity jobs.

LEFT: Wrong way to dig BELOW: Bend the knees when digging
Things to remember
  • Ignoring safety precautions and using the wrong tool for the job are common causes of gardening injuries.
  • Rotate your gardening tasks to avoid repetitive movements. For example, after 15 minutes of raking, swap to pruning for a while. 
  • Always wear gardening gloves to protect your hands against cuts, soil, potting mix, insect bites and skin irritants.
You don't need to be referred by your GP to see an Osteopath and, at WeaverHouse we also offer Reflexology and Massage Services to ease those gardening aches and pains. 
If you’re new to the practice give us a call to book your free 15 minute Osteopathic back and health assessment check. 01270 629933 or email info@weaverhouse.com