When spring and summer roll around, many people are itching to go out to work on their yards and gardens. When considering gardening, many people immediately think of back pain from the pulling and bending. However, it is necessary to recognize many repetitive movements, such as raking, weeding, digging, and pruning, are very stressful to the smaller muscles of the hands, wrists and arms as well.

Preventing Injury for Gardening

Wear gloves at all times

Bacteria and fungus live in the soil, and a small cut or break in the skin can develop into a hand infection.

Take breaks

Vary garden activities; rotate every 15 minutes with brief rest periods to avoid overuse of the same muscles, as the hand’s small muscles are easily fatigued.

Hands aren’t a replacement for tools

Use a garden hoe instead of your hand for digging. Use a scissors or a knife to open bags of soil and fertilizer.

Watch the position of your wrist

Try to keep your wrist in a neutral position, avoiding unusual angles.

Find the right tool

There are many hand tools on the market that have ergonomic designs that ease hand pain and stress.


Remember to perform some stretches to the muscles of the hands and arms prior to or during gardening and especially if muscles begin to complain.

Common Conditions for Gardening

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a nerve compression syndrome caused by increased pressure to the median nerve at the wrist. Basically, the median nerve becomes pinched at the wrist. 

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Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome primarily affects individuals who tend to overuse their knees such as runners, cyclists, skiers and others whose activities involve running and jumping. It encompasses a group of conditions that impact the area surrounding the kneecap. This results in damage, strain or inflammation of the structures, which leads to pain.

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Tennis Elbow

Lateral epicondylosis, commonly known as tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis, is a condition involving the tendons attached to the bony prominence on the outside of the elbow called the lateral epicondyle.

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