TOP TIPS: getting out in the garden this springtime

Despite the cold, wet and dreary weather, the garden is starting to show signs of renewed growth and life, with spring imminent. You may be starting to think of the growing list of outdoor jobs that require your attention. When engaging in activities that we have had a break from over the winter months, it is important to be mindful of our physical limits to prevent strain and injury. We regularly treat patients in the clinic with back, neck and shoulder issues resulting from improper gardening techniques, such as poor positioning or prolonged repetitive tasks. Here are some practical tips for preventing injury when undertaking garden tasks:

Mowing the grass

  • Have the handle in line with your belly button and your elbows at 90 degrees to your body. This will reduce strain on your lower back.
  • Keep the mower close to your body to avoid overreaching.

Weeding and pruning

  • Pace yourself. Undertaking extended periods of forward bending can lead to discomfort and strain in the lower back.
  • Use knee pads for tasks closer to the ground to minimise back strain.
  • If possible, use a hoe for weeding to limit bending.

Lifting Compost Bags, Plants etc. 

  • Assess heavy lifting tasks; consider whether someone can help or use equipment like a wheelbarrow.
  • Keep objects close, bend from the hips, push through your feet when lifting and avoid tension in hands and arms.
  • Start with lifting lighter objects to get warmed up and space heavy tasks out over the day or week.


  • Bend from the hips, not the back.
  • When moving soil, step around instead of rotating.
  • Break activities into small chunks.

If you would like some more advice or are troubled with some aches and pains from getting out in the garden and would like an assessment from one of our Physiotherapists, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01234 378996 or email and our Reception Team will be happy to book you an appointment.

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