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» Weekly Cup of Joe - Episode #67 – Gardening Tips #1
Weekly Cup of Joe - Episode #67 – Gardening Tips #1

Read the transcript for this video:

Good morning. My name is Joe King, owner of Physical Therapy Advantage and welcome to your Weekly Cup of Joe. This week on our Cup of Joe, we are going to talk about Gardening tips. We're going to do a three-part series and it's the start of spring, can't really believe it even though the weather's maybe not quite there, but it's probably pretty typical here in the Chicagoland area. So we've got a lot of clients in the clinic, big gardeners, they're getting really antsy to get out in the yard and get cleaned up and start preparing everything. So I wanted to give a three-part series here on some gardening tips, mechanics, how to protect your body, legs, backs, the whole nine yards.

So today's tip is going to be on using pads or kneeling in the garden and stuff. So there are things out there you can purchase. This is a pretty fairly dense foam pad, you can use it for any floor work, but it works really well to put it out on the ground. Pretty stable surface to be on. You can use a simple blanket and fold up or a big beach towel or something like that, that you don't mind getting dirty. You can fold up to put down so you have a little bit of cushion, especially on that hard ground or if it happens to be near, say rock and stuff like that, or you got some gravel or some wood chips in your flower beds and stuff. Anything you can do to put some cushion down to feel a little more comfortable to be on your knees because one of the big things is we don't want you to be bent over or I'm using an ottoman here, but you could have a small little bench and there'll be a link on the bottom of this page that has a link to a pole cart and different benches that you can use that are out there. Various price ranges, whatever you want. Some have containers and slots and everything like that, or haul all your equipment out, all your tools and everything you want up to your flower beds, to your gardens, and then you don't have to go back and forth. But it can turn into a bench to sit on to work at and be in a little bit better position, or what we're trying to work on a lot of times is getting down into one knee in a half kneeling position and you can do some work or if you wanted to do, and get down on both knees and get down to work; much better than being bent over and standing.

Some people can't kneel on both knees, maybe because of a knee replacement or just an arthritic knee and you can only kneel on one, and that also depends on how much cushion you need underneath your knee. So do you need something a little more dense foam like this or something a little softer. So more like a beach towel or a pillow; anything you want to throw down on the ground, that doesn't really matter if you get it dirty or not. So, it’s of different options. But another question or another point that a lot of clients bring up is, Joe, I need to get up and down and that's really tough sometimes. So I've got a handy-dandy dowel on here that I'm using in the house. You could use something similar outside to take with you to use as a cane or if you even have a cane, take your cane with you or you can use a shovel, make sure it's in the ground pretty stable, or pitchfork or whatever you're using. Probably not a hoe, but as long as the hoe doesn't move around, you can use the hoe as well. But you can use that to put opposite of the leg that's up with my left knee and leg are up here and put it in my right hand and now I can get up much easier. And same thing for going down; put it and go down and use the brace for balance, for support, for a little extra effort to get up and down. Takes a little stress off of things. The same thing if I have it and I can go to both knees and I can use it for balance if I need to use it for balance to hold onto. Or if you have that cart you can hold onto your cart and balance that way. Whatever makes it a little bit easier for you, a little safer. Always, as we talked about in the clinic, we want to talk about being really good and supportive and keep my stomach muscles maybe a little bit engaged as I'm digging and pulling and working in this work region. I may have to only be there for about 10 or 15 minutes, do some work, get out of the position, relax, maybe sit on the bench, but keep going, I can pace myself that way also.

Hope these tips help. Like I said, there'll be some links in the bottom of this for some carts, some benches, some pads, some different things, some tips for you, hopefully, some resources that you can use. If you have any questions whatsoever about this video or about mechanics and any other maybe special requests or special questions about your gardening situation that you want to talk about further or just any physical therapy questions about a back or knee or hip that might be bothersome for you while gardening, please don't hesitate to give us a call (630) 892-8003 and we look forward to seeing you next week for our second installment of gardening tips on your Weekly Cup of Joe! Bye


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