Gardening Tools for Arthritis
Ergonomically Correct Tools
- Consider purchasing ergonomically correct gardening tools, ones that allow you to get a better grip on your tools and not cause your arthritic hands undue stress. Easy-grip tools have non-slip handles, are lightweight and feel soft. If you have hand limitations due to arthritis, the ergonomic handles on these garden tools help your hand and wrist stay in a natural position, which reduces stress on your hands and wrists.
When you need tools that require you to use your entire arm, and not just your wrists and hands, use tools that have long handles, which make it possible for you to avoid bending and reaching and also increase leverage when you grip the tools. This will reduce the stress of your painful joints.
- Purchase a lightweight coiled hose that doesn’t get tangled and that automatically rebounds to 3 feet. This eliminates the need to haul water out to your flowers or garden. Furthermore, anyone who has dealt with a traditional garden hose knows how impossibly cumbersome they can be. Wrangling with a recalcitrant hose is not what an arthritic person needs to deal with.
- Arthritis Today Magazine recommends wearing latex surgical gloves rather than regular gardening gloves because they will allow you to grasp your gardening tools and plants easily. Regular gardening gloves are cumbersome and make it difficult to feel what you need to feel. Of course, if you are allergic to latex, stick with the traditional cloth or leather gloves.
Arm Cuffs and Garden Seat Caddy
- Purchase arm support cuffs that enable you to utilize the strength of your upper arm and forearm. Consider using a garden seat caddy if you can no longer kneel comfortably because of arthritic knees. The caddy has a tray, where you can put your gardening tools. Sit on your garden seat caddy and weed away.
- Consider establishing a raised garden, which is a foot or more above the surrounding ground. This way, you won’t have to stoop down, bend over and squat as much when you work in the garden. Build your raised garden to the height that is most comfortable for you. Raised gardens can be so accessible that even those confined to wheelchairs are able to continue gardening.
- Using the correct type of tool along with specific techniques will expand your range of motion, notes Fortino Gonzalez, who is a physical therapist at Ortho Sports Inc. Before you go out to garden, do some stretching exercises that will warm up your muscles. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, because this will keep you more flexible and agile. If you know that you are going to be squatting in your garden, practice doing squats.