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Injury prevention tips for gardeners

Every few years, I write a column that reviews safety when bending, squatting, or lifting heavy loads. Our back muscles must be nurtured and protected, and we pay a price when we injure them. Our joints, large and small, must be protected from injury, too, but I found that I hadn’t written about joint safety since 2015. It is time for a reminder.

Poorly designed tools that are used repetitively and incorrect hand positioning can cause or exacerbate two conditions: carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and osteoarthritis.

Tingling, pain, and numbness of fingers, hands, and wrists can occur as a result of repetitive movements or vibrations, potentially leading to CTS. This painful syndrome occurs when the lining of the carpal tunnel, a narrow area at the base of the wrist, and the flexor tendons that allow the fingers to close become swollen and inflamed. The medial nerve, which transmits nerve impulses down the arm to the thumb, first two fingers, and half of the ring finger, becomes trap...

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