My wife, Esther, loves to work in the yard! As a Pennsylvania Dutch girl growing up in Lebanon, PA, caring for plants and animals was an integral part of daily life. As for me, I am her loyal assistant cutting grass, mulching, planting, landscaping etc. I too, love the outdoors but I enjoy golfing, running, swimming, kayaking, and playing tennis more than cutting the grass! Therefore, this column is for those readers like me, whose goal is to get the job done safely, so as not to suffer any injuries that might interfere with our other outdoor activities!
People may not think of yard work as a form exercise, but it can be very strenuous. It can also be stressful to you bones, joints, muscles and tendons. For example, digging with a shovel can irritate your shoulders, elbows and hands with each push through the earth. Also, prolonged bending and twisting and repeatedly carrying heavy loads can create upper and lower back pain. Hand, wrist and elbow pain is associated with pruning, edging, cutting and clipping. Squatting and kneeling can play havoc with your knees and hips.
Research from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the most common gardening injury in adults is overstrained muscles, tendons and ligaments. Furthermore, the incidence of these injuries increases with age. Those most vulnerable are between 60 and 69 years of age while those 40 to 59 years old are a close second.
Read the Health & Exercise Forum Every Monday in the Scranton Times-Tribune.
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice in downtown Scranton and is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College.