As summer continues, our gardens require frequent attention, and we all know that can be a pain (literally!). It shouldn’t have to be that way. There are better ways to work in your garden that won’t cause increased pressure to your back, knees and your body as a whole. We’ll discuss:
- Strategies for kneeling safely
- Bench kneelers vs. kneeling pads
- Strategies for Kneeling Safely
Many people find that kneeling is difficult or painful, especially those dealing with arthritis or who have suffered a recent injury to their knees or back. Gardening can provide many physical and mental benefits, but activities such as bending, kneeling, pulling, lifting and carrying can cause joint stress and pain for those with arthritis.
It is best to avoid kneeling at all costs, however, if you have to kneel, it is best to use only one knee. Kneeling on both can cause you to overstretch your back, leading to more back pain. Using the half kneeling position will allow you to get lower to the ground without putting unnecessary strain on your joints.
Along with using the half kneeling approach, keeping a proper posture and changing positions frequently will also help minimize your risk of injury and keep you from getting muscle pain and fatigue. Therefore, changing between which knee is being used for your half kneel will help reduce the strain to your lower back and knees.
Lastly, while using the half kneeling position, remember to bend forward at the hips in order to help keep your back straight. Using this technique will lessen the strain on your back and allow you to continue gardening with ease. Below is a demonstration showing “Bad Posture” and “Good Posture”.
In summary, there are several strategies that will help you kneel safely in the garden:
- Perform a half kneel
- Change positions often
- Bend from the hips
If you find that you are still getting pain even after using these strategies, there are a couple different items you can buy that should help to reduce the strain on your joints even more.
Bench Kneelers vs Kneeling Pads
There are so many options, but which one is better?
- Ideal for small gardens
- Extremely lightweight
- Provide good cushion support for the knees
- Can be used in two ways – either a bench or a pad
- Can use for long periods of time due to ability to change positions
- Usually heavier than kneeling pad
If you would like to learn more about how to garden with less difficulty, check out our other blog posts “Gardening: How to Save Your Muscles” and “Gardening: A New Approach.”
In addition, if you are interested in getting a more customized approach then click the link below. For a limited time, Buffalo Rehab Group is offering free consultations by our Physical Therapists. If you liked to get back to gardening, then a free discovery visit is your next step for recovery.
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Taylor, Gabrielle. “The 10 Best Garden Kneelers.” 2019.
Wolfe, Amber, et al. “Arthritis and Gardening.” National AgrAbility Project (2016): 2-3, 18.