With the tentative signs of Spring beginning to bud, there is no better time to flex your green fingers whilst enjoying the great outdoors. However, making the most of our gardens may be easier said than done for those 17 million adults in the UK affected by a musculoskeletal condition1.
The repetitive actions, heavy lifting and hard-to-reach positions involved in gardening can put a strain on the joints, causing pain and stiffness that may prove particularly troublesome for joint pain sufferers. Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes have been shown to preserve and improve your joint health.
So, as our love of gardening continues to flourish into the Spring, we have top tips for those struggling with joint pain to help them enjoy the nation’s favourite pastime;
1. Use the right tools
To avoid overreaching and heavy lifting, long handled tools or light weight apparatus may prove for an easier time gardening. Consider swapping manual for electric to lessen the harsh movements on your joints and keep your gardening tools in good condition to avoid unnecessary strain.
2. Switch it up
Kneeling or bending over for long periods of time can increase the strain on your joints and back, so remember to vary your activities and keep moving to prevent staying in the same position for too long. If beginning to ache, take a short break or try something different to allow your body to recover.
3. Make the space work for you
Using apparatus such as a gardening bench or potting table helps ease any strain when it comes to crouching or stooping. This also allows you to work at a comfortable level. If you intend to kneel, use knee pads, which are provided with some benches. This makes it easier to move from a sitting position to a kneeling one.
4. Stretch it out
Stretching and warming up before gardening could help increase your flexibility and allow you to work for a longer period of time, whilst stretching afterwards should help prevent stiffening of the joints later on.
5. Get to the Root of the Problem
Consider incorporating a daily supplement to reduce stiffness and improve joint mobility. GOPO® Joint Health is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory treatment made from 100% specially cultivated rose-hip, proven to reduce joint pain and swelling, improving joint mobility and activity levels5-9. In one study, 8 out of 10 patients reported a significant reduction in joint pain after just 3 weeks of taking GOPO®7daily.
Consultant rheumatologist Dr Rod Hughes comments: “We can help to protect our joints and effectively treat joint pains by using a clinically proven joint and soft tissue supplement such as rose-hip extract prepared as the galactolipid, GOPO®. This has been shown in multiple clinical studies to help protect joint cartilage whilst reducing pain and inflammation, and should certainly be considered at the early onset of even mild joint pain.”