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A few simple tips can help prevent injury while gardening

As the weather warms, people are returning to the garden all over the Gulf Coast.

While gardening can be relaxing, prolonged activity in squatting, kneeling or crouching positions can lead to aches and pains.

Below are a few simple tips from Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine to stay injury-free while putting a green thumb to work.

Stretch first: Gardening can be tough, physical work. “It’s important to warm up before any strenuous activity,” said David Chandler, M.D., MHL, an orthopaedic surgeon at Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “A simple 10-minute walk, along with arm, leg and neck stretches can get the blood flowing and get the body ready to work, which can definitely help with injury avoidance.”

Avoid overuse: Avoid prolonged static postures such as sitting or crouching which can cause difficulty in moving and may actually cause injury. Change posture or stand and walk around briefly every few minutes.

Use good body mechanics: Many back injuries are the result of improper lifting. When carrying heavy objects, or pushing something heavy like a wheelbarrow, use the legs, not the back. Also, avoid bending, lifting and twisting together as this leads to injury. Always lift with the pelvis and shoulders aligned and turn with the feet rather than by twisting.

Drink plenty of water: Working in the Gulf Coast sun, even in the Spring, can get hot, fast. That heat leads to sweating and dehydration becomes a serious threat unless fluids are replaced. In short, remember it’s not just the flowers and plants in the garden that need water.

Keeping these simple tips in mind throughout the Spring will help make sure the time spent in the garden is relaxing and fun. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Andrews Institute at 850.916.8700 or visit

Andrews Institute
for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
1040 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561
(850) 916-8700

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