3 Practical Ways to be Pain-Free in the Garden

Hello there! It’s Sol the Gardening Physio, today I’d like to talk about why you might be getting wrist or shoulder pain from working in the garden, and what you can do about it.

Wrists and shoulders are often put to the test in the garden. Common jobs like carrying large buckets or wheelbarrows, using a heavy watering can, or working on branches / vines up above shoulder height – put high or repetitive stresses upon the wrist and shoulders. These jobs are not just strenuous, they often involve awkward positions where your wrists and shoulders are more prone to injury than usual.


The ways you can prevent these demanding tasks from causing you aches and pains generally fall into 3 categories:

1)  Reduce the stress

Use a smaller watering can, don’t fill your wheelbarrow so high 

2)  Change the technique / position

Use two hands to hold your watering can, use a ladder so you can prune branches at waist height instead of over head

3)  Increase your strength

A stronger body will be less likely to reach breaking point when challenged with a physical task. 

Using efficient technique is always a good idea. But reducing the size and weight of the things you are lifting / using will only help you in the short term. Strengthening the body is the best ongoing strategy to reduce your chances of getting injury in the garden. 

Gardening is a physically demanding activity – which itself provides health and fitness benefits – strengthening however is not the primary goal of gardening, gardening is. There are significant advantages to strengthening the body using exercises designed to strengthen the body, in an environment designed for efficiency and safety. I am of course referring to resistance exercises in a gym setting.

Our individual and group sessions at Rebound Health are ideal for developing the strength needed for an injury resistant body in the garden.

If you are currently dealing with shoulder, wrist or another pain I would recommend you come and see the Gardening Physio so we can fix your injury before you start the strengthening program.