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Remedy for sore hands?

Posted by leaveswave (MN z4) (My Page) on
Tue, May 15, 07 at 9:15

Seriously, folks, this is not a joke! My hands are incredibly sore from working in the garden. I've been pruning lots of last year's growth and breaking it up coarsely by hand--anyone who's visited my gardens recently knows how much plant material that is. Plus I've been doing a fair amount of (trans)planting in my heavy soil. I've never had such sore hands before. So, do you have any tips or suggestions on something to help them feel better so my gardening schedule doesn't get too far off track? TIA!!

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RE: Remedy for sore hands?

  • Posted by john_w Z4a Minn, US (My Page) on
    Tue, May 15, 07 at 9:23

I used to hand-cut my rose prunings to small pieces each spring so I could burn them in my firepit. I have some VERY big roses with wrist-thick canes. I usually wind up with several huge piles of canes that took me three days to reduce to size. My hands would ache for days.

The best remedy is to let them rest for a few days.

Avoid the hand stress in the future by using only the sharpest of blades in your tools. If they're dull, take them in and get them sharp. Otherwise, you have to compensate with a stronger grip.

Get long-handled loppers. These make a very big difference; your stronger shoulders do more of the work instead of your hands.

And finally, I suggest getting a powerful chipper-shredder. I can't tell you how wonderful this is. You save all sorts of time. No sore hands, and you get a wonderful mulch to spread around your plants.

Since I got a chipper-shredder, I haven't had sore hands since. (now my back, that's another story...)

RE: Remedy for sore hands?

An anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen can help if your body tolerates it. And a soak in hot bubble bath.

RE: Remedy for sore hands?

john, thanks for your comments. I might have to use the loppers for part of it; I tend to get impatient with their additional bulk and awkwardness. My sharp felco #2's are so zippy - LOL. The chipper is more problematical. From what I've read the electric ones aren't that hot and for myself a gas one is not a viable option. You're probably right about just letting time take care of it. We are always looking for shortcuts and silver bullets, aren't we?

parrot, my body tolerates it so well it doesn't do a thing for me! (I've long suspected the medical community of pushing it merely for its placebo effect, but that's just my cynicism.)

I wonder if something topical for sore muscles wouldn't help a little. My grip is pretty weak right now and the fine motor control is not good either. Maybe tomorrow night I'll try some olbas oil and put gloves on before I go to bed...

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