Gardening is a hobby a lot of people love to do, even elders. But for older people who have arthritis, it is something that they need to be careful of. Does gardening make arthritis worse?
Gardening is a good kind of exercise for the elderly too. You can either lessen the load or have someone to help you with the gardening task. Gardening can be a pain-free hobby if you know how to balance it. You must plan your gardening work.
Change Task to Reduce Pain
There are lots of things you can do in gardening. And joint pain may build up if you don’t rest. If you have arthritis, it is also advisable to switch from one task to another. You can pick weeds and then spray flowers after 20 to 30 minutes. This is to let your joints rest for a while. You can also take a break between tasks if you feel the need to rest.
If walking is difficult, avoid too many journeys. Take all the things you need in a single route. You can also ask family members to help you carry the things you need. Frequent breaks allow you to take a look at your plants and appreciate them. Smell the roses or check the butterflies.
If You Can’t Work in Your Garden then Bring it Close to You
When the pain is unbearable, but you don't want to miss gardening, you can bring the garden closer. Try to plant small flowers in a pot. Place it to the area in your house that is comfortable for you to move. You can also place the plant in the balcony of your room. In that way, you can still do what you love, but this time the load is lighter. But does gardening make arthritis worse? It doesn't have to.
Hydroponics way of gardening is advisable to people with arthritis. You don't have to exert extra energy to loosen the soil or remove the weeds. You need a plant, a right container, and a nutrient solution to feed to your plants. You can attend to your plant without the need to do the heavy gardening task. You can even do use the hydroponics method even when you are sitting.
Use Lighter Tools
Preparing the soil is one of the heavy tasks in gardening. So, does gardening make arthritis worse? When gardening, it is not possible to skip this as improving the quality of soil makes the cultivation easier. So, when you need to dig in, you can use a lighter tool like a spade. Lightweight tools can help reduce the over-reaching and lessen the pain because of lifting heavy objects or apparatus.
When you need to choose a tool, pick the one that allows you to stand. Handle must be long and easy to grip.
Consider switching to electric tools. It would be a lot easier to attend gardening needs like the use of a hedge trimmer instead of manual shears. It will lessen the movement of your elbow and shoulder. Thus, reduce the joint aggravation.
Other Ways Preventing Joint Pain When Gardening
Does gardening make arthritis worse? The answer may vary depending on your pain management. There are ways to avoid joint pain when gardening.
- Use a small chair or stool when the task requires you to sit. Do not stay on a bending position too long as this may worsen the joint pain. Make sure to stretch from time to time.
- Practice correct posture when working. Sit or stand straight while working, and change position often.
- When you need to lift an object, use your palm or forearms or even the elbow instead of using your fingers
- Work at a waist level. Use potting tables or gardening bench and find ways that allow you to work at a high level of comfortability.
- Avoid work that allows you to reach overhead repeatedly.
- Use knee pads when trimming small plants. It allows you to change position from sitting to kneeling.
- When watering your plants, look for a sprinkler that would help you easily distribute the water. It would be more comfortable than using lugging garden hose or watering cans. This would also require you to exert extra energy, hence increase joint pain.
Gardening is one of the activities of people who love cultivating crops or growing flowers. This is also their form of exercise and relaxation. Unfortunately, not the case for people with arthritis. But does gardening make arthritis worse? The good news is it can help you. So, if you love gardening, you don't have to give up your passion. You need to change the way you work and be wiser on your approach.
The satisfying feeling when you see the flowers bloom brings calmness and relieves your stress. So, don’t give up on gardening just because your joint pain limits your movement. Change your routine, stretch, and take a break when necessary.