Arthritis is a painful disease that 50 million Americans suffer with every year. Despite its severity, it’s still possible for those with arthritis to enjoy regular physical activity. Arthritis sufferers who like to garden, for instance, don’t necessarily have to give up their hobby. Adhering to the following guidelines can help gardeners keep arthritis pain at bay.
Be Flexible With Your Schedule – Before heading to your garden, develop a schedule detailing how much time you will spend on each activity. This tactic can help prevent gardeners from devoting too much effort on any one area. Repeating a single action over a long period of time can easily inflame arthritis symptoms. Instead, it’s better to mix up the type of activities you plan on doing, since this will share the work load among different parts of the body.
Use the Right Tools – Certain equipment has been developed specifically for those that struggle with frequent arthritic pain. This specialized garden gear often features longer handles, making them to easier to grip. In turn, this lessens strain of working in the yard. You might also consider purchasing lightweight tools, which obviously require less effort to carry and use. Tools with cushioned grips may also prove useful.
While it might take some time to get used to this new equipment, over time you should become more comfortable using such tools. In addition, it is important to keep gardening equipment as sharp and well-maintained as possible. When gardening equipment is kept in good condition, less pressure is needed to yield results.
Know (and Respect) Your Limits – As we get older, our bodies usually become more susceptible to wear and tear. Given this fact, a 60 year old individual generally can’t exert the same amount of energy as someone thirty years younger. In order to hold off arthritis pain, older adults should refrain from placing too much strain on their joints. Of course, this advice applies to gardening as well. People who start to feel pain while gardening should stop performing any pain-inducing activities.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help – Speaking of physical limits, there are gardening-related tasks that arthritis patients should avoid doing (at least by themselves). If you need to move some heavy materials or plant trees, for example, consider asking for assistance from others.
Watch Your Back – Regardless of age and physical health, many people make the mistake of placing excessive strain on their back when lifting objects. To prevent unnecessary damage to the back, try lifting with your legs instead. When doing so, remember to keep your back straight and the item close to your body. Additionally, work benches and tables can allow you to work standing up, as opposed to working in a squatting position.
Consult With Your Doctor – It’s always advisable to consult your doctor when managing arthritis symptoms. Doctors and other medical professionals can help patients limit the amount of arthritic pain they experience throughout the day. This includes pain related to physical activities, including gardening.