Avoid injuries when working in the garden

Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine has tips to keep you safe in the garden this spring and summer.

It’s the time of year when many of us head outdoors to plant our gardens and that means another chance to suffer an injury.

One of the most common injuries suffered in the yard and garden occurs in the hand. The repetitive motions of gripping a shovel or pulling out weeds can take its toll on our hands. As noted by CayugaMed.org, common hand injuries are either repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that any activity you perform for more than two consecutive hours or more than four hours per day puts a person at risk for repetitive strain injuries. These injuries are common with weeding, planting and digging.

The repetitiveness of working in the garden can also lead to tendinitis as you continue to use your wrist. The tendons in the wrist can become tender or inflamed because of the repetitive motion.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can also occur when you feel tingling in the thumb, forefinger, middle finger and middle finder side of the ring finger. Carpal tunnel involves the median nerve that runs from the neck of the hand. This can occur with many common garden activities.

So how can you prevent a hand injury in the garden? Just like you can prevent an injury before playing a sport by stretching. Click here to read more about proper stretches before you begin your gardening project.

It’s also important that you wear gloves to prevent infections and to take breaks every hour or switch activities to avoid repetitive strain injuries.

Stop what you’re doing if you begin to feel pain in your hand. You can also contact Dr. Irvine at Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine to look at your hand injury. Dr. Irvine treats numerous conditions in the hand and wrist, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, Dequervain’s Tenosynovitis, fractures, and much more.

More information: https://www.cayugamed.org/content.cfm?page=library&articleID=108&topicID=13