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Summer Gardening Tips:

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Summer Gardening Tips:

Submitted by Northern Michigan Sports Medicine Center

Summer Gardening activities are common places for injuries. The following are tips to preventing injuries before they occur while gardening.

·   Wear gloves at all times. Bacteria and fungus live in the soil and a small irritation or cut can develop into a major hand infection. Thick, leather or suede gloves may protect your hands from thorns, cuts and scrapes.

·  Keep your hands and arms covered.  Be especially careful if you live in an area where you may disturb a snake, spider, or rodent living in your garden.  You will be better protected from poison ivy, insect bites and other common skin irritants that may inhabit a garden.

·  Take a break every hour or switch to another activity. Overuse of repetitive motions, such as digging, can cause tendonitis of the elbow or lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Break up large tasks into short sessions, with a rest and stretch break between gardening sessions.

·  Use a tool when digging into unfamiliar or new areas. Buried sharp objects can cause tendon lacerations or punctures.  Use the correct tool for the task at hand in order to avoid accidental injury. 

·  Store your tools to prevent accidents. Learn how to use and store your tools correctly to prevent accidents, and keep sharp tools out of the reach of children at all times. Also make sure to put all tools away after use to prevent future injuries.

·  Use wide handled tools. Use tools with padded or thicker handles to protect the smaller joints in your hands. Working with your wrist in a more neutral or straight position will help to prevent injuries in the wrist and forearm.

·   Avoid sustained/constant gripping and awkward motions. Use both hands for heavy activities like lifting a bag of potting soil and alternate hands on more repetitive tasks like scooping dirt out of the bag into a pot. Sustained grip and repetitive motions can cause pain and lead to tendonitis.

·   Plan ahead. Use a basket or large handled container to carry supplies to the garden. The basket should be carried with both hands, distributing the workload equally and decreasing stress in the joints of your upper body.

·   Don’t sit back on your knees. Bending your knees this far is not only a hard position for the knee joint, but it requires you to push most of your body weight up with your hands and wrists, placing increased pressure on these joints as well. Instead, use a short gardening stool or bench.  

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Petoskey, Petoskey East & Boyne City

Our Petoskey clinic is located within the Bay Street Orthopedic building, 4048 Cedar Bluff Drive. 231-347-9300 [map]

Our Petoskey East clinic is located on the corner of Mitchell & Division, 345 N. Division 231-348-7950.[map]

Our Boyne City Clinic is located in the SOBO district, 210 S Lake Street 231-459-4750 map

Charlevoix & Cheboygan

Our Charlevoix clinic is located in the Kmart Plaza, at 06510 M-66, 231-547-0380 [map] 

Our Cheboygan clinic is located south of town, 9445 N Straits Hwy, 231-627-7201 [map]

Harbor Springs & Indian River

Our Harbor Springs clinic is located next the Harbor Springs airport, 8452 M-119 Harbor Plaza, 231-348-7002. [map]                                        

Our Indian River clinic is right in the heart of downtown, 3805 South Straits Hwy, 231-238-4880. [map]