The Secrets to Pain-Free Gardening - Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapy, Calgary
Blair Schachterle Health Tips

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The Secrets to Pain-Free Gardening

The secret to pain-free gardening is to warm up before, and to stretch out afterwards. If you face gardening like a sport, then you will ease through the spring and into the summer with little pain, discomfort and stiffness.

Here is the recipe for pain-free gardening:

  1. A brisk walk around the neighbourhood for 5 minutes will get the muscles and joints warmed up.
  2. 10 slow gentle squats to get your legs ready for action.
  3. Gently and slowly bend forwards and backwards, side to side, and rotate your trunk 5 times to get your back warmed up.
  4. Reach your arms to the sky with your arms 5 times to get your arms ready for action.
  5. Your muscles and joints are warmed up and ready for action. Keep in mind to always tuck your tummy in as you bend down to do any lifting, this contracts your Transverse Abdominis (TA) muscle that will help brace your spine and get it ready for the load.
  6. If you are raking, make sure to do your transverse abdominis contraction, and a lunging reach back and forth with your legs and the rake to reduce load on your spine.
  7. Keep hydrated, drink lots of water, especially if you are sweating lots on a hot day.
  8. Take breaks, especially if you feel short of breath, or you are experiencing some pain.
  9. Stretch out your tired muscles at the end of your gardening.
  10. Most importantly have FUN!  You will be enjoying the “fruits of your labour” soon.  There is nothing better than fresh garden picked vegetables and berries!

Blair Schachterle BScPT, Dip Manip PT, Dip Sport PT, FCAMPT, CGIMS

Blair has been a Physiotherapist at Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapy since 2001. Blair graduated from the University of Alberta with a BScPT in 1992. He has focused on Orthopaedic Manual Therapy and Sport Therapy. Blair completed his Sport Therapy Diploma in 1997, and his Advanced Manual and Manipulative Diploma in 1998. Blair is also certified for IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation) Dry Needling. Blair has a keen interest in active rehabilitation of recent and chronic, spinal and peripheral, joint and muscle injuries. He enjoys treating upper neck pain that is associated with cervical tension headaches, sciatica (pinched nerve in lower back), shoulder injuries and traumatic knee injuries. Blair previously served for 6 years as the Executive Chair of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy (CAMPT).

Blair balances his busy professional life by staying active. He enjoys cycling, swimming, working out, hiking, camping and snowboarding, depending on the season. Blair shares his free time with his wife, son and daughter outside on the weekends. He has learned to enjoy the journey, as life really is too short.
Blair Schachterle BScPT, Dip Manip PT, Dip Sport PT, FCAMPT, CGIMS

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