With the summer heat slowly melting away, you may be getting ready to do some serious gardening. A downside to gardening is that it can do some serious damage to your hands—hand pain, cracks, embedded dirt, broken nails, calluses…So, what can you do?
Try these 4 tips to help keep hand pain at bay before you dig into your next gardening session.
Always wear gloves before you garden, and make sure they fit properly. Aside from protecting you from dirt and any thorny plants, they can also prevent everything from cuts and blisters to sunburn. Finding some good non-slip gloves are helpful when handling gardening tools—they can reduce strain and soreness in the hands.
Switch it Up
One of the biggest causes of hand pain and injury is repetitive motions—and gardening contributes to this. Are you spending hours in the garden doing a repetitive task, like pulling weeds? If so, you are continuously working the same small muscle groups which can result in inflammation in the area—especially when there are gardening tools involved. Try to change it up regularly and switch tasks every half hour or so. Switching tasks will help to avoid straining one muscle group in your hands.
Practice Good Form
A lot people can hurt their wrists or develop carpal tunnel syndrome from holding tools the wrong way. When gripping, it’s best when the wrist is in a neutral position. Bending the wrist can weaken your grip and requires more exertion from the wrist. This can strain those tendons that connect to your fingers and make them flex, causing hand pain and even wrist pain.
Use the Right Tools
Make sure your tools do the work for you—that’s why they’re there! Look into investing in some gardening tools that have ergonomic grips or handles. If they don’t need super tight gripping, it can significantly cut down on swelling and hand pain. Also, make sure you are using the right tool for the right purpose.
Don’t let your hands suffer the punishment of gardening mistakes. Hand pain and injury can be prevented by just following these simple precautions and tips.