Green Fingers

Lady with back pain from gardening

When the clock moves forward and the early light evenings prevail, I tend to get an influx of patients coming in complaining of problems with their neck, their back and their knees due to getting out and starting work in the garden. First line of advice to patients is, as tempting as it may seem to try breaking gardening time into manageable steps from half an hour to an hour at a time taking rests and breaks in-between.

I also advise patients to try and mix the jobs they’re doing within the garden, some standing, some kneeling and some bending to avoid putting too much excessive pressure on the back, the hips and the knees in one go.

Some patients find that kneeling pads and kneeling frames are a good way or supporting the upper back whilst doing jobs lower down in height. A hot bath and some gentle stretches afterwards do reduce the risk of suffering the following day! Patients that come in to see me with persistent pain following an over zealous burst of activity find local mobilisations, lots of electrotherapy, heat and gentle stretches very beneficial.

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