Safe Gardening with Osteoporosis
_Now that the winter’s gone, the earth hath lostHer snow-white robes; and now no more the frostCandies the grass, or casts an icy creamUpon the silver lake or crystal stream:But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth" _ (The Spring by: Thomas Carew 1640)
Whenever we need to pick something up from the floor we need to squat or do a hip hinge, to protect those areas of the body that are susceptible to fractures. A hip hinge is a movement where you bend forward from the hips keeping your spine completely flat through the entire movement. You don’t want to round the spine at any level, so imagine you have a string attached to your head and you are pulling it above your head to keep the spine totally erect. Hip hinging is very important during gardening since it will protect your hips and spine, as long as you don’t round your back. Here are some additional ideas for safe gardening.
Tools for Safe Gardening
- Long handled tools
- Garden rockers
- Rolling plant stands
- Knee pads
- Table for waist-high work.
- Garden trolley
- Self-coiling hose
Planting Tips and Tricks
- Plants should be put in tall pots or on stands, so you eliminate your bending as much as you can.
- Hanging plants are gorgeous and easy to water, fertilize and prune when hung at eye-level or a bit lower.
- Pots can be filled ¾ of the way with mulch and then add your dirt. Plant annuals at the top of these pots and let the mulch raise the flower bed towards you.
Working in the yard is good weight-bearing exercise and it also gets you outside into the sun for some free vitamin D. I always sleep, feel and think better after I’ve been working carefully outside in the sun. Your efforts will pay off with a lovely looking yard that all can enjoy and provide you with good exercise and vitamin D.
Whenever you work in the yard listen to what your body tells you; this will help to prevent overdoing and injuries. If you feel a twinge or pain stop You can break your work up into many days; it doesn’t have to be completed all at once or within a certain time frame, so go slow and move with anticipation.
Have fun with your spring time work and let us know what tips, tools and tricks you use around your yard to stay bone safe.
Pam wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Osteoporosis.