Gardening is an enjoyable and fulfilling pastime for many. However, for arthritis patients certain considerations should be made. Start by assessing your situation and deciding which tasks cause you pain or stress on your joints, how much you can bend and lift, and how long you can work before getting tired. Then design a garden or routine to suit your situation. Here are some ideas to get you started:
* Be realistic—don’t grow a jungle; even one lovingly tended box can be a rewarding gardening venture.
* Do a little work every day, rather than too much all at once. Try installing raised-bed planter boxes that stand a few feet above the ground, which eliminates the need to bend.
* Use long, fat-handled garden tools and carry them in an apron with a pocket.
* Sit on a stool rather than kneeling
* Store tools, seeds, and supplies as close to where you’re working as possible.
(Source: Koehn, C., Palmer, T., Esdaile, J. Rheumatoid Arthritis Plan to Win. Oxford University Press. Oxford: 2002.)