Knee Pain Associated with Gardening

Woman gardening. New Heights Therapy talks about Knee Pain Associated with Gardening in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA

Knee Pain Associated with Gardening

Tending to your garden can be a fun and relaxing hobby. It’s been shown to improve strength, memory retention, mood, and more. The benefits are nearly endless, but the repetitive stress on your knees can also lead to knee pain.

In this article, we’ll explain what gardner’s knee is and how to help prevent it.

What is Gardener’s Knee?

Prepatellar bursitis, commonly called gardener’s knee or housemaid’s knee is a condition caused by the inflammation of the prepatellar bursa–a small fluid-filled area that sits on the front of your knee cap. This condition is common in people who spend a lot of time kneeling. The most common symptoms of gardener’s knee include swelling at the front of the knee, redness, and tenderness. It may also be difficult to bend your knee or walk.

Tips to Avoid Knee Pain While Gardening

When you garden, you’re engaging in low-impact exercise so you’ll want to approach it like you would any other exercise: warm up and know your limits. Here are some more tips to help you garden with less pain.

  • Use knee pads or a kneeling pad to help protect your knees
  • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes
  • Take frequent breaks so you don’t strain your knees
  • Change your positions frequently to relieve stress on the knees
  • Apply ice on your knees after gardening
  • Use gardening tools with long handles
  • Consider a raised garden bed
  • Exercise to strengthen your legs
  • Purchase gardening supplies in light-weight quantities
  • Ask for help when gardening tasks are too difficult for you or cause you strain

Physical Therapy for Knee Pain

Many people brush off knee pain when it first occurs, thinking it will eventually go away. If you’re suffering with pain and swelling around the knee, don’t ignore it. There are several causes of front knee pain other than gardener’s knee which physical therapy may be helpful with.

We at New Heights Physical Therapy Plus in Portland OR can diagnose your condition and offer you the proper treatment so you can continue to do the things you love pain-free!

Are Enhanced Waters Good for You?

Colorful bottles of sports drinks. New Heights talks about why enhanced waters aren't healthy for you.

Reaching for a sports drink or electrolyte-enhanced water might seem like a better choice than a soda, but are they really any healthier? In this blog post, we’ll talk about what enhanced waters are and why they may actually be bad for your health.

Enhanced Waters

Enhanced waters come in a variety of brands: Gatorade, Powerade, Vitaminwater, Smart Water, and more. They were designed for elite athletes to help replace electrolytes and carbs lost during intense exercise. The keyword here is elite. Researchers say the average person exercising for less than an hour may not need sports drinks to re-hydrate or improve their performance.


This is a big one. You may be surprised to learn most enhanced waters contain about the same amount of sugar as a can of soda. A typical can of soda contains about 40 grams of sugar, while a 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade, for example, has 36 grams of sugar. Vitaminwater isn’t much better. It contains 32 grams of sugar in a 20-ounce bottle.

Doctors say too much added sugar puts you at risk of several health issues including obesity, fatty liver disease, diabetes, and cancer. And if you think drinks labeled as “zero-calorie” are a safe bet, think again, doctors say those contain artificial sweeteners– which have been linked to cancer.


Vitamins like vitamin B and C are another component of enhanced waters, especially for Vitaminwater. Researchers say most people already get enough of these vitamins from their diet and consuming more will not provide you with any added health benefits.

Some enhanced waters contain vitamins A and E. Research has shown excess amounts of these have been associated with the risk of premature death.


Electrolytes are minerals that help regulate and control fluids in your body. They help keep your brain, nerves, and muscles functioning properly and they can be lost from perspiration, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some of the main electrolytes include magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and sodium. Most if not all enhanced waters contain electrolytes, even SmartWater. And just like anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad. Doctors say having too much of a certain electrolyte can cause an electrolyte imbalance. Too much sodium, for example, can lead to dizziness. While too much calcium can lead to joint and bone pain, fatigue, and seizures.

So before reaching for enhanced water. Read the label to ensure what you are consuming. Just plain water is a safe bet. And if you need carbohydrate and electrolyte replacement, doctors recommend fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy alternatives.

Tips for Properly Fitting a Bike

Person riding a mountain bike. New Heights provides professional bike fittings.

We don’t have to tell you this; bike riding is big in the Portland OR and Vancouver WA area. Cyclists ride bikes for recreation as well as transportation to work and school regardless of the weather. But did you know simply hopping on a bike and taking off may cause you to suffer pain later? In this article, we’ll talk about how to properly fit a bike so you can ride in comfort.

What is a Bike Fitting?

Before we dig into bike fitting, it’s important to know what a bike fitting is in the first place. A bike fitting is a process performed by a professional. Because everyone is different, they may ask how you use your bike and what your goals are. Then they’ll have you sit on the bike and adjust things like the frame and saddle so you and the bike work in synchronization.

Adjusting Your Bike For You

Cycling should be pain-free. Here are a few ways you can change your experience, so you can ride longer and harder.

Adjust the Saddle Height

This step is probably the easiest and most important one to set. You want the saddle to be at a height that when your leg is extended during a pedal stroke, your heel barely touches the pedal, and is not above your toes.

Adjust the Saddle Setback

To avoid pain in your pelvis, your saddle setback should be adjusted as well. This involves moving the saddle forward and backward until your knee is over the pedal spindle.

Change Bike Stems

The bike stem is the piece that bridges your handlebars to your steerer. It shouldn’t be too long or too short because your reach to the handlebars is important for weight distribution. When reaching for your handlebars, your elbows should have a slight bend.

If you travel and take your bike apart often it’s a good idea to measure and record these adjustments. Keep them somewhere handy so you can use them for a quick and easy reference.

Signs Your Bike is Not Properly Fitted

If your bike is not properly fitted, your body will tell you. Below are some of the common symptoms you may experience.

  • Knee, hip, and ankle pain: if you’re experiencing pain in these lower extremities, it is likely due to your saddle’s position.
  • Shoulder and neck pain: if you suffer pain in these areas this is likely from your stem or handlebar position.

Your Local Source for Bike Fitting

Want help with your bike fit? At New Heights Physical Therapy, our highly-experienced therapists provide professional bike fitting for patients whether it’s a road bike, mountain bike or hybrid bike, we can help. So contact New Heights Physical Therapy today for your professional bike fitting in the Portland OR and Vancouver WA area!