West Suffolk Physio

Make the most of your time in the garden…

Top Tips For Making The Most Of Your Time In The Garden..

Gardening is a great way to maintain health and wellbeing, both physical and mental. As physios, we often notice an increase in aches and pains after a good bank holiday session in the garden!

Here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your time in the garden minus the unwanted side effects.

Vary your tasks

It’s easy to get carried away wanting to get one particular job done before you move on to the next. Spending a prolonged period of time on one activity is a sure way ending up with sore muscles the next day. Make a list of what you want to get done and plan your day. Using a timer can ensure you stick to your schedule.

Be realistic

Rome wasn’t built in a day (or indeed a Bank Holiday weekend). Remember a garden is always a work in progress.

Break up the work throughout the day

Take time for a cuppa and enjoy your garden! This can help to rehydrate as well as giving your muscles and joints a well earned break.

Garden Kneelers are a brilliant (and cheap) invention

These can save untold stressed on your knees. You can even get these with handles which saves you getting all the way down to ground.

“Bend your knees, keep your back straight and keep what you’re lifting as close as possible”

We all know the basics of good lifting, but how many of us do it? For more useful tips on moving and lifting in the garden, check out this link that we liked: https://peagreenphysio.wordpress.com/tag/manual-handling-and-gardening/

Potting plants on table

It just makes sense! Not everything has to be done on ground level.

For those achy hands

Using foam tubing to modify tools can improve your grip and ease discomfort.

Plan ahead with heavy jobs

Put your pot where you want it before you fill it up with soil.

Check the ground is soft

Take the time after a good rainy period to do your necessary digging and weeding. This cuts the work load in half and could reduce your risk of injuring your back or shoulder.

Don’t work in heat of the day

If we’re lucky enough to see the temperature go up, be sensible. Aim to get any gardening that cannot wait done early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature is cooler.

If you would like any more top tips for making the most of your time in the garden please contact us and speak to one of our Physiotherapists today.

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Sometimes I laugh so hard, the tears run down my legs!

SOMETIMES I LAUGH SO HARD, THE TEARS RUN DOWN MY LEGS!

Most of us have heard a light hearted joke or two about ‘ladies that leak’, but anyone struggling with bladder control will know it is no laughing matter. One in three women will experience incontinence at some point in their lives. Whether this is the occasional unexpected ‘oops moment’ following a cough or sneeze, or not being able to leave the house without wearing a pad, living with incontinence can be a miserable and isolating experience.

Stress incontinence can affect women at different times in their life. Accidental leakage during pregnancy and immediately following childbirth is common, however it is often on the lead up to menopause when these symptoms really begin to become problematic for women.  If you believe the advertisements on the television, the only answer is to resort to pads. But is this true?

In a word, no! Ladies, incontinence is no longer something that needs to be tolerated or accepted as just being part of life. Yes, pads have their place and they can be a great back up, but they don’t help address the problem. There is however an answer and it lies deep inside all of you.

SAY HELLO TO YOUR PELVIC FLOOR

It’s probably fair to say most women have heard of their pelvic floor, but it still seems to be somewhat shrouded in mystery, only to be heard mentioned in the utmost hushed tones between the closest of girlfriends. After all, pelvic floors aren’t really something to be discussing over afternoon tea are they? Or are they? It’s interesting when you think about it. We wouldn’t think twice about discussing a sprained ankle or our latest bout of sciatica. Yet when it comes to talking about ‘down there’ it is still considered by many to be a bit taboo, embarrassing or somehow socially inappropriate. 

Well the big reveal here is that your pelvic floor is in fact…just another muscle! Was that as big an anti-climax for you as it was for me? There is nothing weird or special about it, it really is just another skeletal muscle that forms part of the wonderful creation that is your body. And just like any other muscle in your body, it can suffer trauma or become weak, lazy and ineffective.  When this happens we are far more likely to experience symptoms of incontinence and prolapse.

So ladies, get acquainted with your pelvic floor, it could become your new best friend.

EXERCISES…FOR DOWN THERE?

Women (and men for that matter) can improve the strength of their pelvic floor by performing regular pelvic floor exercises. We walk, go to the gym, attend exercise classes, all to keep our bodies fit and strong, so why should we treat our pelvic floor any differently? Trauma and increased demand from things like pregnancy and childbirth, heavy lifting, and chronic cough can all weaken our pelvic floor, so exercising it to make it stronger makes perfect sense. The stronger we can keep our pelvic floor the less likely we are to experience incontinence.

    

BUT I THOUGHT I WAS ALREADY DOING PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES?

Most women have heard of pelvic floor exercises, but how many of you know how to do them correctly? The pelvic floor is a complex structure located deep within the body which can make it difficult to find and isolate when first starting out. Often women think they are doing pelvic floor exercises, but in reality what they are referring to is actually something very different. This is just one of the reasons why seeing a women’s health physiotherapist can be so beneficial. We can assess the function of these muscles and if necessary, correct your technique as well as guide you on an appropriate exercise programme that’s tailored to you.

I’M NOT SURE IF I’M DOING IT CORRECTLY, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you are one of the many women out there living with incontinence or lacking confidence when it comes to exercising your pelvic floor I would strongly recommend seeing a women’s health physiotherapist. You could be nipping a small problem in the bud before it becomes a more significant one. If you are feeling a little shy, perhaps make a start by searching the web, but don’t ignore your symptoms. You might just be surprised at how much they can improve with the right guidance. 

  

 Zoe Noble

Women’s Health Physiotherapist

West Suffolk Physio

01284 713721

www.westsuffolkphysio.co.uk