Gardening with Neuropathy | ReBuilder Medical
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Gardening with Neuropathy


It’s getting to that time of year again: the birds are building nests, the trees are filling out, and the flowers are blooming.  It’s time to get back out into the garden!  But if you’re living with neuropathy, tending the garden can be difficult.  So we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you look after your garden and yourself this spring.

How to Avoid Common Injuries

Every year, there are over 300,000 yardwork related injuries in the US.  The repetitive movements of gardening are particularly damaging to the body over time, so here are some tips to avoid common injuries:

  • Take a short walk or do some light stretching to warm up your joints/muscles before heading out to the garden.
  • Avoid working outside during the hottest parts of the day to minimize the risk of heat exhaustion.
  • Wear comfortable gloves and make sure your tools are the right size for you.  If your tool height or grip is the wrong size, it’s liable to cause injuries.  Most tools have ergonomic grip options to make them more comfortable to hold, so keep on the lookout!
  • Reaching too far can strain your back. Keeping your tools nearby and pruning plants close to you can help avoid injury.

man kneeling in garden

  • Kneel like a pro!  Keep one knee bent on the ground with a cushion underneath it and the other bent in front of you.  This position encourages you to keep your back more upright.  Make sure to frequently switch which knee is on the ground (at least every 15 minutes).

diagram of safe lifting stance

  • Make sure you’re lifting heavy objects properly.  When picking up heavy objects, don’t fully squat.  Instead, keep your legs half bent before standing straight up (keeping the object close to your body).  Make sure to keep your back straight and engage your core muscles.
  • Know your limits!  If something is too heavy for you to lift, ask for help.  It’s also good to take breaks every 20 minutes and rotate tasks to rest your muscles and avoid repetitive movements.

How to Make Gardening more comfortable

Everyone’s symptoms are different, so it’s important to identify what methods of gardening are going to be the most comfortable for you.  If you are most comfortable sitting or kneeling, here are some tips to make your gardening experience as comfortable as possible:

  • Use blankets and cushions to pad the ground beneath you.  There are gardening stools designed specifically for this purpose.
  • If you can’t or don’t want to kneel, it can help to sit with your legs straight out in front of you to keep blood circulating.
  • Child-size rakes and other tools with shorter handles can make it easier to get your gardening done without standing.
  • If you use a wheelchair, its recommended that you use a mobility scooter or power wheelchair for yardwork since the larger wheels make it easier to get around on grass.  It's important to remember that not all models are suited to off-road use, so make sure you're buying a model that fits your needs.

If you prefer to stand, here are some tips to bring the garden to you!

  • Installing raised garden beds, trellises, or window boxes on the tops of fences makes it easier to design your garden so you don’t need to bend down.
  • Planting in vases or pots allows you to garden at tables or counter tops.

Indoor Gardening

For some, transitioning to indoor gardening may be the best decision.  Houseplants are a great option as they’re easily accessible for care and maintenance, and have positive psychological effects.  Some studies have also shown that houseplants can help purify indoor air, especially in energy-efficient, nonventilated buildings.  Unfortunately, energy-efficient buildings can increase the concentration of indoor air pollutants, many of which are considered neurotoxic.  If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know how common neurotoxins can be in the household.  Though not a cure-all, houseplants can help remove these pollutants from the air by metabolizing and incorporating them into the plant tissue.

Below is a list of the top 10 houseplants for increasing air quality:

  1. Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
  2. Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)
  3. Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea erumpens)
  4. Rubber plant (ficus elastica)
  5. Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena deremensis)
  6. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  7. Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
  8. Ficus “Alii” (Ficus maclellandii)
  9. Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  10. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)

It is important to note that English Ivy and Peace Lilies are toxic if ingested, so they should be kept away from small children and pets.

We Can Help You Eliminate Neuropathy In Just 30 Minutes

The Rebuilder® has helped many neuropathy patients get back to their hobbies.  But don’t just take our word for it!  Listen to Mr. Tucker’s testimonial about how the ReBuilder® helped his father regain use of his legs and return to his avid gardening lifestyle.

If you would like to learn more about how you can find near-immediate pain relief from your neuropathy and even begin to help your body repair damaged nerve cells, please feel free to call us directly at 877-717-5487.  If you’re ready to order your own ReBuilder® we have multiple options available at our online store.

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