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Let Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida help you ‘Spring’ back into your favorite activities without injury in Bradenton

With the start of Spring and many clear days on the way, many of us take this time to pick back up some of our favorite outdoor activities.  For some of you, this can mean bringing your prized garden back to life and spending countless hours planting, shoveling and watering your plants.  For others, spring opens up the door for running, biking, hiking or playing golf, tennis or pickleball Learn More, to name just a few of the many physical activities in the outdoors.

Regardless of the way in which you take advantage of this improving climate, it’s important to keep in mind that every activity comes with some risk of injury.  This is not only true for various forms of exercise, but also when gardening for extended periods of time.  But have no fear: at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, we’ve got you covered.  We can explain what behaviors may be risky, offer tips and guidance, and create a program that will all help reduce your risk for injury in Bradenton.

How to practice safe gardening

Both the knees and the back can be injured from gardening.  Much of this has to do with the fact that about 80-90% of gardening movements are performed in a bent position.  All this bending and kneeling can lead to aches and pains developing in the knees.  In addition, bending forward for too long can reverse the spine’s natural curvature and strain muscles and ligaments in the back.  The repetitive twisting that’s also a part of gardening and the fact that many of these motions are performed repeatedly all combine to create a recipe for knee or back pain.  To reduce your risk for injury, we recommend these tips:

  • Try to stay in a position on “all fours” using your knees and both hands, with your back flat, as much as possible; if you can place something under your stomach in this position, it will be even more useful
  • When raking, try to keep your elbows close to your body and use your legs for most of the moving instead
  • When you shovel, pivot with your hips and shoulders moving together, and avoid twisting
  • Take breaks every 15 minutes or so and perform more back bends during this time
  • Change positions regularly and be aware of how your body feels; if you notice any region of the body getting sore, switch over to another task

 Avoid injury when returning to exercise

Injuries from exercise are common this time of year, and they usually occur when clients train too hard or too intensely for too long, or when they jump back into activities too quickly.  What often happens is that individuals are eager to pick up their training or activities right where they left off.  Unfortunately, even if you’ve been exercising in the gym or elsewhere with a modified routine, switching to outdoor activities will engage your muscles and joints in ways that they may not be ready for.  As a result, they can be more vulnerable to a number of different injuries.

To avoid an injury when getting back into your exercise routine—or starting a new one—visit us for some guidance and keep the following pointers in mind:

  • We can provide you with specific exercises to strengthen and stretch your muscles to prepare you for your activity of choice
  • If you plan on getting into running, look into finding a training program that can instruct you as to how much you should be running each week and how to increase your training
  • Ensure that your shoes and other equipment is up to date and not worn out, and replace them accordingly if need be
  • Hydrate sufficiently before, during and after exercising
  • Don’t exercise with any lingering pain beyond minor aches or soreness; this can be a signal of the onset of a more severe injury

Spring can be a fantastic time to bounce into a more active, healthier lifestyle for you.  Don’t let an unexpected injury in Bradenton, FL prevent you from taking full advantage of all that the next few months have to offer. Follow these tips and come visit us at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL for additional guidance on how to make your spring injury-free.  Call us at 941-264-1414 for more information or to schedule an appointment today.