Healthy Hands for Gardening

In celebration of the American Society of Hand Therapists “Hand Therapy Week”,
Olympia Orthopaedic Associates would like to help you keep your hands healthy while gardening this season.
Get your Hands Ready for Gardening – take a few minutes to warm your hands up with some of these stretching techniques:

  • Fold your hands together and turn your palms away from your body as you extend your arms forward and count to 10. You should feel the stretch from your shoulders to your fingers.
  • With the opposite hand and your palm away from you, pull gently back on your fingers to stretch our your wrist and count to 10. You should feel a gentle stretch on the inside of your wrist.
  • With each hand, rotate your wrist clockwise and counterclockwise. Count to 10 on each.

Wear Protective Gloves – wearing the proper gardening gloves can prevent blistering, cuts and abrasions.

While shopping for gloves, be sure to check to make sure they are the appropriate type of gloves for gardening. Try them on to make sure they fit correctly and that they do not prevent you from gripping. Also, make sure they are breathable gloves so that you do not feel the need to take them off and use your bare hands to finish the job.

Take Frequent Breaks – Some gardening chores require repetitive motion of your hands such as planting bulbs, digging and trimming hedges. These prolong motions can aggravate an existing condition such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Arthritis. Take frequent breaks by changing the activity of your hand motion.

Use the Right Tools – Improper tools can create excessive pressure on your hands. Assess your gardening tools to make sure they are sharp and not rusty. Make sure the safety grips are intact and that any safety locks are working properly.

Proper Gardening Techniques – Make sure that you are using proper techniques with using a shovel or a trowel. Make sure not to grip too tightly and apply comfortable pressure while gardening. Always keep your wrist in a comfortable neutral position.

Follow these helpful tips for you to have healthy hands to create your beautiful garden!

For those with injuries of the hand, the Hand Therapy Team at Olympia Orthopaedic provides comprehensive hand therapy services. Combining specific exercises and activities to help patients restore joint and muscular function, strength, and range of motion for hand, wrist, and elbow injuries, our experts are dedicated to helping patients return to their daily activities quickly and safely.

Contact us today if you are experiencing pain or an injury in your hand and our experts will create a treatment plan customized for you!

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