Back and knee saving techniques during gardening and other activities

Back and knee saving techniques during gardening and other activities

A) What causes back pain?

Pathophysiology of the spine (vertebrae, nerves, disc, muscle)

1) Why posture, flexibility, is so important.

2) Why muscle strengthening is important.

Prolonged bending over, reaching with a heavy item, dropped head forward, lifting heavy loam.

B) What causes knee pain?

Pathophysiology of the knee joint (cartilage, meniscus, joint fluid)

1) Why leg flexibility and balance is important

2) Why strengthening is important

Stooping or squatting for prolonged periods, kneeling, lifting with the legs.


Backs: Avoid bend and twist by facing your work.
Keep items close to your torso
Change positions frequently
Stretch afterwards and during the day
Do daily posture and back exercises
Use a chair or torso support structure such as a stool
Do your work on a table or have raised beds
Use lunging with raking

Knees: Keep proper alignment of joints
Change positions frequently
Use a knee pad or chair

Exercise examples:

Stretches: Forward dangle,
Knee to chest,
Hamstring/quad/groin stretch,
Slow twist with reach,
Reach backs

4-stage upper back,
Opp. arm/leg reach,
Seated quad. lift
Curl backs and reach forward seated

By Carol Penfield RN, MS, NPc
Owner and Program Director of Chatham Health and Swim Club
Nurse Practitioner, Certified Personal Trainer, Stott trained Pilates Instructor
251 Crowell Rd. Chatham, MA 02633
508-945-3555 club
508-945-7761 office