by Alex Burgess, Physiotherapist at Intrinsi
Gardening can be a great way to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and connect with nature. However, for those of us who suffer from knee pain, gardening can be a daunting task. As a physiotherapist who has started to embrace my ‘green fingers’ and listened to many stories from many gardeners who have struggled with knee pain, I have some tips and tricks for you to try this summer to help you garden without being limited by knee stress.
Mary and Other Gardeners Like You
I met Mary, an avid gardener for over 20 years. Recently she developed knee pain that made gardening more challenging. The pain from kneeling and squatting to garden left her feeling frustrated and discouraged. After 20 years of enjoying her therapeutic hobby, this was heartbreaking for her to deal with.
If you can relate to Mary, try these tips to alleviate your knees while gardening.
Use a Garden Stool or Kneeler
Using a garden stool or kneeler can help take the pressure off your knees. These tools allow you to sit or kneel comfortably while you plant, weed, and prune your plants.
Switch to Raised Garden Beds
A higher bed alleviates extra pressure from bending and kneeling. Build a raised bed using materials like cinder blocks, bricks, or wood. If you use pots, place them on an elevated table before getting to work.
Take Frequent Breaks
Give your knees a rest. (And drink some water!) Set a timer for a scheduled break every 20-30 minutes to stretch your legs and walk around.
Wear Supportive Shoes
Wearing supportive shoes can help reduce the impact on your knees while you work in your garden. Look for shoes with good arch support and cushioning to help absorb shock.
Use Ergonomic Tools
Look for tools with padded and long handles to help you reach plants without having to bend over or kneel.
Gardening with knee pain can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. By using these tips and tricks, you can make gardening more comfortable and enjoyable. Remember to listen to your body and take breaks when you need to.
If you aren’t sure how to correctly choose the best shoes for your feet or you need advice on the right equipment for your needs, give us a call at 403-229-9214 and we can lend a hand!