What’s Happening At Wellness Rehabilitation Inc. And Gardening Tips

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Tips On The Mechanics of Gardening

As spring has arrived, gardening begins to ramp up so I’ve decided to resend this blog I wrote. As I garden, I’m thinking of you, paying attention to what mechanics I am using to dig holes, pull weeds, mulch, plant shrubs to save my back and your’s.

But it’s not only about gardening, but what you do after you are done that is just as important.

This blog will give you some tips to prevent injury to your spine and shoulders. It is a continuation of my last gardening blog sent May 11th.

How Gardening Affects Your Body
Gardening involves many repetitive activities such as bending, kneeling, digging, reaching, and carrying plants and soil. Bending can cause neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain, and kneeling for long periods can cause knee pain if you aren’t aware of your alignment.

While gardening is good exercise, overuse of muscles and stress on joints can lead to pain, stiffness, and long-term injury if gardeners do not keep in good physical shape and make sure to garden in a healthy way.

Tips During Gardening

Take Breaks When You Garden

If you have been in one position for 5-10 minutes, be sure to change the position you are in or move onto something else. For instance, if you have been pruning a shrub with a lopper, which uses the same motion in the upper body, give it a break and move onto spreading some mulch.


However big or small a hole you are digging, you want to stay close to that area. If using a trowel, you can squat with feet separated or one in front of the other. Your buttocks should be down towards the ground in squatting. You can also go onto hands and knees, but again stay close to the hole you are digging so you are not reaching beyond arm length. You can also just sit on the ground or kneel in 1/2 kneeling or tall kneeling. You may want to use knee pads.

When using a shovel, place your body against the shovel to stomp your foot on it. When lifting the shovel, remember it is heavy with an end that is even heavier and now may have added weight of soil on it, bend your knees, hold the shovel handle 1/2 down the shovel, and use your body weight to lean away from the end to pick up the soil. When turning to drop the soil, turn your entire body to face where you are placing it.

Mulch bags should be pulled with your body weight leaning away from the bag so you are not trying to muscle it. Think about your standing alignment and keep the sternum lifted and use the muscles between the shoulder blades and your buttocks and abdominals.

Tips for After Gardening
Most gardening is done in a flexed position, unless you are pruning tall shrubs and trees. Therefore you want to end with extension type activities to counteract all that flexion.

Put your hands in the small of your back for support and bend backwards. This is also good to do while gardening when you take breaks or before moving onto the next thing.

Lie on your stomach when you get inside and do 10 pressups where your pelvis stays on the floor and you use arms (and lower trapezius) to press the upper body off the floor arching like in the back bend.

If you have a foam roller, lie on it vertically to release muscle tension and open up the vertebrae. You can then lie on it horizontally and arch over the roller to give more extension, as seen at the top of the page.


Regular exercise strengthens your muscles and provides support for your joints. Strong core muscles help you maintain good posture while you are gardening and reduce stress on your back, hips, and legs.

Getting Help With Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

For pain that does not respond to at-home therapies, physical therapy restores range of motion and helps muscles heal. Physical therapy exercises can target strains, tension, and repetitive motion injuries that result from gardening. Physical Therapy also teaches the correct mechanics to safely dig a hole, weed, or prune.

With the right combination of the best physical therapy from Wellness Rehabilitation Inc., exercise, and instruction in safe mechanics, you can continue to enjoy an active lifestyle, including gardening and other outdoor hobbies.

If you have gardening pain that does not go away or is severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, click here to schedule a FREE 20 minute call to discuss how we can help you.

To Your Health,


P.S. If you are still not 100%, give us a call at 301-493-9257 to set up a time to discuss the health issues you are having and how we can help you.


Live Virtual Pilates/Exercise class: 5 class series for $177 April 10th – May 8th 2024 Wednesdays 12-1 on Zoom

Register here or call us at 301-493-9257 to join the class or ask us questions.

Wellness Rehabilitation Inc.

10410 Kensington Parkway, Suite 11, Kensington, MD 20895



Looking for a healthy gift to give to yourself or loved ones?

We offer SAFE PILATES VIDEOS to work on in the comfort of your home. I have created 3 Pilates videos if you are not ready to join a class or can’t find a class that suits your time-frame or you need another day for a workout. These videos you can work on at home and at your own pace. Each exercise is explained thoroughly as to what it is accomplishing and what you should feel. Part I goes over the foundations of Pilates exercises. Part II uses foam rollers and Theraband or weights. Part III teaches more advanced Pilates skills.

Click here for more information on the safe Pilates videos and to watch the short clips.


Many clients feel that the work we have done in Physical Therapy was so effective that after discharge they want to continue the Pilates and strengthening work to continue improving their outcomes to prevent recurrences.

We offer 5 and 10 session individual packages of Pilates/strengthening.

Click here for more information on our individual Pilates sessions.


We offer a Year of Wellness package for those who would like to have a monthly checkup of their home program to be sure the exercises are still valid and performed correctly or to address any other issues that may arise.


We offer online Physical Therapy sessions. These are the same 1 hour sessions as in clinic. You still get the personal touch. Click here for more information on our telehealth sessions.

Interested in continuing the work we did or just want to get stronger or be sure you are still on the correct path towards your goals of a fully functional life, give us a call at 301-493-9257 to discuss how we can help you.

A Physical Therapist’s specialty is in observing deviations in your movement patterns to find the root cause of the problem, then effectively treating it with individualized exercises to correct the problem. You will understand what the issue is that is causing the problem and be given effective exercises to do, thereby ensuring that how you move becomes permanent in your muscle memory.

Did you know that Maryland has Direct Access for physical therapy? That means you can see a Physical Therapist without seeing your physician first and getting a prescription. We can evaluate and treat you without a referral. Through the extensive evaluation, if we feel that other issues may be involved that may require you to see your physician, we will refer you back or recommend someone who is appropriate for you.

We invite you to ask about our Free Discovery Call and look forward to assisting you with anything you may need.


This is for those who are still unsure if Physical Therapy is right for them. We offer a 100% Free 20 minute Discovery Call to answer all your questions and see if you are the right fit for our clinic. Space is limited. Call us at: 301-493-9257 or email us at cynthia@wellnessrehab.org