Sunshine is a welcome heaven sent tonic. Although we are sure the winter isn’t over yet. Some patients are already coming in to the Hatfield Practice talking about Busy Lizzie’s, Polyanthus. Strange little things called plugs ( not the electrical type ! ) and bulbs !!
1. When gardening, especially in early spring always “warm up” first! This may sound strange, but weeding, digging, mowing etc can be quite strenuous, especially if you have not been active during the winter months. People tend to hibernate in their homes like bears all winter (especially if they are a little older than they were!) and then come out to their gardens in the spring and try to do many months work in a weekend.
” An 84 year old patient that comes to the Welwyn and Hatfield Practice still manages a busy allotment. When asked how he manages to plant so many potatoes, he looked at me knowingly – Ian he said, ” The secret is to plant five and then rest for five , enjoy it but take your time. People tend to rush too much and don’t enjoy the process “.
In The Garden
* Use a kneeling pad when weeding or planting bulbs, some have handles on to help you up and down rather than bending which may strain a stiff back.
* Take frequent breaks when mowing and planting out pots, do not swing the mower, use gentle short movements or bribe your children
* Vary your work, so that each set of muscles gets a turn to rest its more fun!
* When digging , try to use both feet alternatively, use an ergonomically designed or ladies spade if you can. In any case, only lift loads which you can comfortably deal with.
* If using a wheelbarrow, take more loads which can be lighter, rather than fewer, heavier ones.
* If reaching up to tie or prune high branches, do not overstretch. In particular, do not stretch up and twist at the same time as this can place strain on the neck, ribs or lower back discs.
In the Home
As the light improves our homes tend to look dustier and grubby. Remember, spring cleaning should be undertaken gradually, not all in one Sunday. Try to get some help and try not to overstretch.
If you have back pain you can try to sit down when ironing. Also when standing for long periods, use a footrest and alternate feet.
- Vary your tasks and take frequent breaks ( tea and hob nobs ! )
- Try to ensure work surfaces are the correct height for you.
- When vacuuming, do not swing the vacuum but use a gentle to and fro movement, keeping it close to your body
- Don’t drag heavy furniture around on your own. This keeps your osteopath busy !
- When lifting, bend your knees as this helps to make strong legs. Try not to overbend your back and keep the load close towards your body.
Starting a regime to get fit?
If starting a regime to get fit for the summer speak to us at the Welwyn and Hatfield Practice for advice. Again, try to begin slowly and only increase your workload gradually. Always warm up gently first and cool down well /stretch afterwards. Epsom salts are a wonderful tonic, soaking away aches and pains in stiff muscles and joints is a real treat.
any activity if you feel pain. Rest for a short wile and apply ice for new swelling or heat for deep aches or stiff backs or muscles. Alternatively call Ian Norman at the Welwyn and Hatfield Practice, Hertfordshire and get some advice first hand.