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?
Get some knee pads, such as these:
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:
SPAMBLOCK NOTICE! To reply to me, delete the h from apkh.net, if it is
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.
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.
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.
Happens to all (or most) of us sooner or later.
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 :>)
.. take some ibuprofen in morning before getting outside. Do some warm up
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.
problems occur because knees are being used improperly or the stabilizing muscles
just arent there.
List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List
Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame
Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other
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endorsements or recommendations I make.
When I Froogled (Google's shopping website) for "garden kneeler," I found
this, which looks like the step that David mentions on his website:
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:
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.
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
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:)
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,
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...
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
: 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?
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.
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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