Woman standing among flowers holding a gardening tool

Spring Gardening with Psoriatic Arthritis

Spring is officially here. That means new growth and time for cleaning up the flower beds after the cold winter. I love gardening. It is one thing I find relaxes me. There is nothing like putting a new seed or flower in the ground to watch it grow. I have planted lilies in a bed that you have to pass to get to my front door. I love the smell of them that you get when walking to the door. I also love hearing how beautiful they are when I have company come over. It's a lot of work but the pay off can be rewarding. What is not rewarding is the pain that it brings to my body because of psoriatic arthritis. All that bending over or squatting is extremely hard on my knees and back since I developed psoriatic arthritis six years ago.

How spring affects me

With having that lily bed it means to start cleaning it before the flowers or seeds can go in I have to remove all the leaves that have gathered there through the winter. This spring my bulbs have already started blooming before all the cold days have come to an end. I have to leave the leaves on the bed so it helps protect the bulbs. That means when the time is right I have to get those leaves out. I cannot do it with a blower which would be easiest on my back and knees. I have to bend down or squat on my knees to pick the leaves out. It doesn't take but a few minutes before my back lets me know it is not happy with me. My knees do the same. Trying to get up brings that pain on even more.

Why continue to do it

That is an easy answer for me. For one thing, as I said I do enjoy doing it. It is me time. It is what I love to do. For another truthfully we cannot afford to hire a lawn care service to come to do it for us. With that being said then the option is just to have grass with no flowers in the yard because my husband does the mowing or I can choose not to let psoriatic arthritis define who I am. Please do not get me wrong. I do know people with psoriatic arthritis who are not able to keep gardening or doing the things they want to do. They can hardly walk or the pain is so intense that it just will not let them do anything like gardening.. I am lucky in that it has not gotten to that point. If it ever does then I may have no choice but to leave the gardening alone no matter how much I like it. That is a real possibility for me but for the time being, it is not something I have to worry about.

Best tips I can give

I take a lot of breaks when I am gardening. I give the back and the knees time to stretch out from being bent. It means that it takes me a while to get the bed cleaned out but slow and steady wins the race. I also wear a back belt that the doctor gave me for support. It helps to make sure I am not putting my back in to much of a bind when I am twisting to grab some more leaves. I try not to overdo it but sometimes I do. I also take a hot bath at night to let the tension ease out of them. If you love to garden I would like to hear your tips on what you do to care for your psoriatic arthritis. If you do not garden that is okay you can still share your tips on what you do to take care of your psoriatic arthritis.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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