Helpful Ideas for Kneeling and Gardening with Arthritis
Hi, I'm a newbie here. I suffer from osteoarthritis in hands, shoulders, back, neck. Knees are stiff and wobbly, but not yet unuseable. So maybe if you are like me at all, you might like to hear my management tips:
Whenever I need to be on my knees weeding, etc., I use two things:
1). I have 2 pair of my DD's old volleyball kneepads that I have handsewn eggcrate mattress foam inside of for even more cushion. My DD bought them at Academy. I wear 1 pair at a time on top of my old gardening jeans. When I have to wash them, I put them in a hosiery zip mesh bag or a pillowcase first.
2). I have an old child's daycare nap mat, the kind that folds up. These can be bought at Wal-mart. It is vinyl and is tri-folded, I keep it folded for more cushion. (I leave it outside, and just wipe clean). I throw it down wherever I need to kneel, and together with my kneepads, this does the trick for me. (I also do not stay in that position longer than 10 minutes tops!!!!) I bought two Garden Claws and when the back pain is real bad, I use them on each side of me to help get down and up again.
I have found that with my stiffening and aging body, I better not get out to do gardening without a thorough warm-up first. I stretch the muscles I'll be using, and then I get up every 10-15 minutes and do it again. I also take omega-3, flax and fish oils every night without fail so I am oiled for the next day . I do not take any prescription medicine, even though I've been given it, because it just compromises my life quality too much in other areas. So far, I can do that. I live with pain a lot. Oh, and I have a swimming pool and a hot tub in backyard, and I use both daily. (A hot tub is an excellent year-round investment, IMHO).
I also follow a low-carb diet, but that works best for me, maybe not you. My aches and pains are much reduced, I have found, along with my indigestion and dry skin.
One last thing: my morning stretchout/workout is very painful for me and something I literally have to endure, but I find that it makes the rest of my day better. Plus, any gardening goes smoother and never feels as bad as what I do first thing every day . My day is ALWAYS a breeze after that!
With arthritis, the Will must prevail over the Pain! Good wishes to all, have enjoyed reading the posts.