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Gardening Related Injuries

Woman bending over to pick flowers. Many gardening related injuries are caused by remaining in a bent position for prolonged periods.Gardening can be a pleasant and relaxing activity for many of us. It may therefore be a surprise to learn that , just as with sports like basketball or baseball, it brings the risk of a range of injuries, both chronic and acute. Many gardening injuries are the result of the typical need to stand or squat in mostly stationary and sometimes unnatural positions for prolonged periods. 

Another factor in many injuries from gardening is the perception by many gardeners that there is no need to engage in warm up or other preparatory exercise before they engage in their favorite hobby. This actually makes an injury more likely.

A second way to proactively avoid gardening related injuries can be to invest some time and money to get the correct tools for the job. The next step is to learn to use those tools properly. The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is definitely applicable here.  

Common Types Of Injury

Probably the most common types of gardening injuries are back injuries. Extended weeding, raking and digging can place a great deal of pressure on your back. You can end up with repetitive strain injuries to the muscles, tendons and ligaments of your back. The result can be lower back pain and the need to wear a brace to allow the lower back soft tissues a chance to recover.

Another common gardening related injury is shoulder impingement, also known as an injured rotator cuff. Activities such as hedge clipping require extensive over the shoulder arm activit. This may bring on or aggravate this overuse injury.

Knee bursitis is another common gardening related injury. It results from extended time spent in a kneeling position during planting or weeding. This position places unusual pressure on the kneecap.

Other chronic gardening injuries that can result from overuse  are carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, and de Quervains.

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