Steele: Prevention best treatment for gardening injuries

Four years ago, my ability to pursue my lifelong passion for gardening was abruptly halted.

Four years ago, my ability to pursue my lifelong passion for gardening was abruptly halted.

In a hurry, with my mind elsewhere, I attempted to transplant a large clump of hosta using my back rather than squatting down to use my legs. Immediately, I knew something was wrong but continued, with aching back, to garden that day and the next.

This foolhardiness landed me in excruciating pain in hospital for a week with a herniated disc and unable to garden much for a year.

Jill Reid became my physiotherapist. An avid gardener, she taught me how to strengthen my core muscles to support my back and how to garden safely.

Reid, now a physiotherapist and educator at the Kelowna Arthritis Centre, will be giving a presentation Gardening with Arthritis with less Groan & Moan! on Wednesday, March 14, 7 p.m., for the Kelowna Garden Club at the seniors centre on 1353 Richter St. All are welcome.

Reid says: “Most people develop bad habits. I promote other ideas. Anyone who gardens will benefit from the ergonomic discussion. I’ll also cover bracing, different tools, pacing and adaption of the garden to suit limitations.

Joints like being moved, it lubricates them, though it must not be done in a stressful way, and not too repetitively.”

The library has several books on gardening with disabilities.

After my injury I found ergonomic tools at Lee Valley ( and locally at the Art Knapps store on Springfield, while Green and Bear It has some helpful items. Good tools that suit your body needs are the best investment.

To recover, I changed to the gentle yoga class at the Kelowna Yoga House.

Yoga helps me with flexibility and strength and I am now back in regular classes. Teachers at KYH always adapt poses if you let them know of injuries.

Sandra Bradshaw’s gentle Feldenkrais manipulations and exercises teach my body to move with ease while minimizing pain and discomfort.

Using the Feldenkrais Method, I learned to change tasks frequently and to use my whole body to ease strain on specific joints and muscles.

From repetitive tasks and long days of nursery work, I ended up with elbow, knee and wrist problems.

The staff at Dyck’s Drugs fitted me with braces to support the joints whenever I am in danger of aggravating them.

Recently I’ve discovered the healing powers of Traumeel homeopathic remedy and cream and Arnica gel and remedy.

Both ease muscle pain, joint stiffness and can dramatically reduce bruising from injury.

Soaking in a hot bath with one to two cups of Epsom salts really eases sore, stiff muscles.

I’ve learned to hire help for tasks like digging, moving and spreading mulch or soil and transplanting big plants, saving my body for more skilled and enjoyable tasks.

More than ever I appreciate the Seven Principles of Xeriscape. Following them helps me to garden successfully with a lot less effort.

Just Posted

Peachland ready to fly the flag on Canada Day

The district is gearing up for its annual Canada Day celebration July 1

Kelowna culinary student cooks her way to Italy

Okanagan College’s Erin MacDougall has won an expenses-paid trip after winning cooking competition

Line break shuts off agriculture water in Black Mountain

BMID says no outdoor watering allowed until repair to line is complete

Young boy struck by car in West Kelowna

Boy, believed to be aged 6, treated at the scene by paramedics

Kelowna’s Pandosy Village Business Association looks to attract shoppers

Merchants to hold their annual Love Our Village Day promotional event Saturday

What’s happening

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Horse put down, 1 person in hospital after hit by car in Lower Mainland

Accident along 132nd Avenue in Maple Ridge Friday afternoon

Electoral reform vote in B.C. includes $500,000 each for pro and con groups

A mail-in ballot referendum will take place Oct. 22 to Nov. 30, asking two questions on voting

83-year-old inmate dies at medium-security prison in Mission

Correctional Services Canada says Ralph Whitfield Morris died in custody

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Most Read