When they are not lifting rocks or heavy bags of fertiliser, moving potted plants and digging holes, what does a landscaper do? Probably spends much of the time putting ice on their knees!
Knee pain is a common complaint of landscapers (note: this article is not about MANscapers, whose common injuries are a whole different ball-game…)
[ Editor’s note: you can’t say that, this is a family blog! ]
Most people in the world would undoubtedly say they’ve had knee pain from time to time, but it is something that seems to plague landscapers and gardeners more often than others.
This would likely be due to the hard work they do lifting, pushing, pulling, kneeling and squatting, day in, day out while on the job. It’s not to say that these activities are bad for you – they’re not inherently bad, but if done repetitively without the proper muscle strength, balance and control, you’re asking for trouble!
Most knee pain occurs not because your knee is weak or worn or faulty, but because the joints and muscles above and below the knee aren’t properly pulling their weight, and leaving it up to the knee to absorb more strain than it wants to. If the muscles of the hip, thigh and lower part of the leg aren’t operating in synergy with each-other, or if there is a weakness somewhere along the line, knee pain can be the result. This type of knee pain is really common, and is one of the most frequent knee condition seen in physio clinics!
There are many variations on treatments for this condition, depending on exactly which physio you see, but the one constant to all successful long-term recovery from knee pain is strengthening and muscle control exercises. “But I’m strong!” I hear you shout indignantly from atop a large retaining wall, but I’m not talking about your ability to squat heavy weights or pull apart a phonebook with your bare hands: there’s strong, and then there’s strong, and I’d bet you’re strong, but not strong strong, if you know what I mean!
You need a good balance of muscle activity around your knee joint to make it work successfully, and working out how to achieve that on your own can be tricky! Specific exercises and hands-on treatments can go a long way towards correcting your knee function, and reducing your knee pain.
Call 8289 2800 to make a physiotherapy appointment at LifeForce health solutions at Golden Grove, to see what one of our experienced and friendly physiotherapists can do to help with your work-related condition. Alternatively, send us a message or comment on Facebook or via our website, and we’ll be in touch!
Jansen, M., Viechtbauer, W., Lenssen, A., Hendriks, E. and de Bie, R. (2011). Strength training alone, exercise therapy alone, and exercise therapy with passive manual mobilisation each reduce pain and disability in people with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy, 57(1), pp.11-20.
Rathleff, M., Roos, E., Olesen, J. and Rasmussen, S. (2014). Exercise during school hours when added to patient education improves outcome for 2 years in adolescent patellofemoral pain: a cluster randomised trial. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(6), pp.406-412.