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Why Gardening is Beneficial for Chronic Pain Sufferers

August 27th, 2015 8:17am

Why Gardening is Beneficial for Chronic Pain Sufferers

If you suffer from chronic pain then you know how difficult it can be to find activities that will keep the aching to a minimum. Even lying on the couch or sitting down with your favorite book can cause unwanted soreness. This can lead to you ruling out activities that require any amount of physical movement. As a result, you may feel forced to find entertainment within your home, sometimes never even seeing the light of day. What if I told you that there is an activity you can do outside, without leaving your property , and may not cause any extra pain? Would you be interested? If so, then gardening could be the perfect way to pass your time and enjoy nature. Not only is it a nice way to spend time outside and soak up the sun, but it has also been proven to be therapeutic and a beneficial form of pain management.

Often thought of as a potentially painful activity, gardening can actually be relaxing and can help you unwind. Feeling calm and at peace can help ease pain, so what other benefits does gardening have?

  • A low impact form of exercise: any amount of exercise is great
  • An activity with a purpose: to grow food or something beautiful
  • Can reduce stress and anxiety: this can lead to less inflammation and pain
  • Nutritional end product: Food from the garden will have more nutrients and will be healthier than store bought food
  • A new hobby that can be experimented with
  • It can spark creativity! When confined to a house, technology seems to become the first (and sometimes only) activity throughout the day. Spending time outside can even cause creativity in other areas.

With so many positive aspects it is easy to see why this is a great activity. However, you might still have concerns about the level of pain it may cause. Bending down for an extended period of time and using gardening tools may harm your back and wrists. However, here are some tips to avoid pain while gardening:

  • Use a soft cushion for your knees: You can buy a pad to lean on or strap-on cushions to protect your knees and joints while gardening
  • Use light-weight tools: tools that are comfortable for you to hold and that are not too heavy, you do not want to put your back into it if a tool is too heavy
  • Elevate your work space: Place plants on tables or benches when working on them so that you don’t have to bend down. You can also consider hanging plants and window boxes if you want a consistent elevation.
  • Make it a social activity: Invite friends and family over to help or go to a gardening group if you feel up for it

Natural sunlight, outdoor activity, and fresh air are just a few reasons for incorporating gardening into your routine. Do your research and plan out how and what you would like to garden as well as what techniques will work best for you. Then, get to work and enjoy the nature right in your backyard!

Recovia is a functional flex-care program that aims to maximize recovery for individuals suffering from chronic pain, injury, or dependency. The mission is to provide a compassionate, comprehensive, cost effective, and individualized functional rehabilitation program. For more information, please contact us at 480-712-4600 or visit our information page.

The advice and information provided herein is for educational purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.


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