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NHS Kernow’s website closed on 30 June 2022. Visit the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board website for information about our health and care services.

NHS Kernow’s Amanda Pell has spades of health tips for gardeners

Amanda Pell is NHS Kernow’s senior pharmaceutical advisor. In this blog she shares her top tips for healthy gardening.
Well, it is that time again. The evenings are drawing out, the weather is beckoning spring, and those of us with even the smallest bit of garden (for flowers or veg) have a strong desire to use the time to get outside and get dirty.

Getting out and about and watching things grow from seed is exciting and very therapeutic and after a year and 3 lockdowns is eagerly awaited.

However, it can also be challenging. True, spring is there, or thereabouts. Spring bulbs are blooming and trees are putting forth buds. There is the first challenge. Pollen. I now find myself outside, sneezing, unable to see what I am doing. Help is at hand. A supply of antihistamines, available from pharmacies and many retail outlets will allow you to continue on regardless, without having to carry a ton of tissues

The next challenge is the urge to put that bit more on the spade or in the wheelbarrow. Doesn’t cause too much problem at the time, but later, when your back aches you know you have been hard at work.

Always remember that gardening is exercise. Just as we should not exercise without warming our muscles, so we should not leap into the full vigour of digging and working, without preparing our muscles first. Little and often, take regular breaks, let your muscles recover and make sure that you have some pain relief.

Remember RICE: Rest, ice, compression and elevate.

Speak to a pharmacist about the best treatment for you. They might suggest tablets, or a cream or gel you rub on the skin.

Painkillers like paracetamol will ease the pain and ibuprofen will bring down swelling.

But you should not take ibuprofen for 48 hours after your injury as it may slow down healing

Added on 17 March 2021, in Blog - Choose well

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