Knees becoming a problem

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My knees have just about had it as far as gardening or seriously cleaning any type of floor. What does everybody do to cut down on the strain? Do you kneel on something, or squat, or use a short stool? TIA Mindy
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Get some knee pads, such as these:
http://www.duluthtrading.com/items/56254.asp
Actually, if you do a search at that site for knee pads, they have a number, including one specifically for gardening. I bought a pair for far less at Home Depot, but they are cheaply made and never worked well.
Mindy Wallace wrote:

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On Thu, 06 Jan 2005 20:31:46 +0000, Mindy Wallace wrote:

Most any brand of knee pad should do. I personally use general contractor gel filled pads. I suggest that you put on the pads and try them out before you buy them. Wearing a ill fitting pair of pads is almost worse than not wearing pads at all. Good luck.
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I get the double whammy - both knees and back are shot. I use knee pads (construction type) and limit the up and down movement by "walking" on my knees, or I use a kneeler-stool that gives me something to push off to stand up. Sometimes just doing my weeding from a sitting position works better and the stool is good for that. Karen
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Mindy Wallace wrote:

If it's a solid, even surface, knee pads can help. But nothing beats sitting down. If you get on your knees, they may not be passing the weight through to your lower legs, but they're still supporting your weight. If you still have enough flexibility, you may be able to lean back far enough for your butt to rest on your heals, but that stretch is something you'll feel the next day!
Inside I find chairs, foot stools, coffee tables... anything near. The rest of the time I find ways to avoid too much bending. You won't see me scrubbing a whole room's floor by hand. I'll use a mop on a handle. I'll only get down for a very small section, like a particular stain.
Outside I have a couple of different stools on wheels. But I still find myself not doing things because the stool is too far away. I'm considering getting one of those milking stools you strap on your own butt. You essentially have a seat with a pole, and a spring at the bottom of the pole. Your weight is supported by the pole, and your knees and legs only provide stability. In theory. Like I said, I'm considering getting one. I don't have any actual experience with one yet.
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Happens to all (or most) of us sooner or later.
Two points:
1) Find a nice retired gent to build you an 18" cube plywood box with cut-outs for your hands to grab it by. Only 5 sides of course. Then, sit, lift a bit, grab, and scoot sideways. In that case, if you are like me and it is past a certain point where they start hurting, the two of you could measure how far you can lower your bum without your knees hurting and then custom build it to just the right height.
But that means your back hurts less than your knees which isn't always true for me. In that case:
2) Start raising your beds -- seriously. I even have an old gardening book around here that was showing a food-type gardening method someone paid for when she was just too old to bend over at all but refused to give up her garden: 4' wide by x' long by 3' high and they were BRICKED up that high! Even in black and white it was a very impressive looking garden. They noted the same idea could apply to someone in a wheel chair, too...just not the full 4' wide if the person couldn't bend over that far. I'm not that bad off, but I do have most of my bigger pots raised one way or other (on a bench, shelf or even just an old cinder block).
Course I had a great-aunt that had one knee replaced probably 15 years ago. She was so happy that it quit hurting she got the other one done, too :>)
John

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.. take some ibuprofen in morning before getting outside. Do some warm up exercises, gentle tai chi like ones stretching and flexing to limber up a little ... use a stool of some kind especially with a staff or high bar you can use your arms to help yourself up rather than using your legs only. ... do raise the beds. this is done for people in wheelchairs too .... dont overdo working outside at one time ... use ice packs on the knees when you come in to cool the knees down ... you may want to find a gym that specializes in strengthening knees. sometimes problems occur because knees are being used improperly or the stabilizing muscles just arent there. Ingrid

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Mindy Wallace wrote:

Go to my gardening tools page at <http://www.rossde.com/garden/tools.html . Scroll down a little bit more than half-way to "step".
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When I Froogled (Google's shopping website) for "garden kneeler," I found this, which looks like the step that David mentions on his website: http://www.homevisions.com/hvprod/prod_display1.asp?Product9563&partneri82&CP There is also a companion product that has wheels instead of legs. (I was given a folding kneeler/seat, but it's metal and the pad is very flimsy, so I rarely use it.)
Also, Gardener's Supply offers a "tractor scoot" with a seat that swivels: http://www.gardeners.com/Shopping/sell.asp?ProdGroupID 319&cmCategoryID=9 .
Anne Lurie Raleigh, NC

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I found an old 2 X 6. I cut into four pieces, each a little over a foot long. I then nailed them together to make a rectangle.
I sit on it. Because it rests on a piece of wood about 2 X 6 X 14", rather than legs, it does not sink into soft soil. It's easy to pick up and move.
vince norris
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One thing, Home Depot has these grabbers for picking up things, about 20 bucks. I have Carwashes and two Fox Terriers, both leave trash and toys all over, my grabbers make it easy to pick up. They are strong enough to pick fruit, pull small weeds, just handy as can be. Home Depot also sells Orange 5 gallon buckets, I got one, cut a finger hole in the bottom, took off the handle (it gets in the way) makes a great seat, light, easy to move. Put a few plastic grocery sacks in your pocket to use with the grabber when picking up, when it gets full tie the top and it is neat bundle, easy to dispose of. Happy Gardening. Joe Tillery, Baytown, Texas
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On Thu, 06 Jan 2005 20:31:46 GMT, Mindy Wallace

I use a pair of knee pads when laying brick, stone, or floor installations. I had a knee replacement 5 years ago. It makes a big difference.
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I may only be 39, but my poor old arthritic knees are about 70, LOL! I use a short stool (a step stool) when I can, but when the ground is too soft and mushy for a stool, I use knee pads:) Both work well:)
Angie
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Hmmm, same age as me - and knees about the same too! I used to be an archaeologist, which is said to be second only to carpet fitter as an occupation gauranteed to wreck the knees. All this not helped by a couple of sports injuries as a child too.
Knee pads do help, but I tend to find them inconvenient to put on and take off when I'm just popping out do do twenty minutes' weeding, so usually just use a soft foam pad that I carry around. Sitting for what I can helps, and so do long handled tools that increase the number of jobs I can do seated, or standing.
A while ago I had a back injury and was given exercises to do to strengthen the back muscles and also to stretch my hamstrings, since they are very tight and this was apparently putting more strain on my back. Doing this seems to have helped the knees a bit too.
Sadly, there are no magic answers...
Peter
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On 1/6/05 3:31 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@news.GTE.net,

I use a kneeler - does help a lot. Staying limber, helps too, striding for 10 minutes helps me quite a bit (known as carrying the tools and buckets to the weeds).
Cheryl
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Join the club. I bend from the waist to do all my weeding and planting. I can't sit on the ground because it is too hard to get down and close to impossible to get up. I try to do weeding 20 minutes at a time and not let it get ahead of me. This past year I hired a lady to do floors for me and a young man to plant bulbs. (Had a new garden and a lot of bulbs.) Now I have to mark a quilt so I plan on getting out the knee pads. It will take me all day. Marilyn in Ohio
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: My knees have just about had it as far as gardening or seriously : cleaning any type of floor. What does everybody do to cut down on the : strain? Do you kneel on something, or squat, or use a short stool? : TIA : Mindy
I like to use one of those 12" plastic milk carton crates. Make perfect size to sit on to work on low stuff, and you can flip them over and carry your stuff in them. Could probably tie a tool box to the side.
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Have had bad knees since the days of being in the Army, what I use? ASPRIN.
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starlord wrote:

the
There are a number of long handled tools that are listed on the World of Weeds website at www.ergonica.com. Some of these can be used either standing up or sitting down.
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About 2 years ago, I bought knee pads from Lowes. Now I can stay on my knees for quite a long time. I use them indoors and outdoors. They easily attach to my legs with Velcro straps. Occasionally I have to adjust them, but in general they stay in place. They are washable. They show no sign of wearing out. What could be better?
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