It's that time of year when many of you are undertaking new landscaping projects around your home and garden. For people with arthritis, it is important to proceed with caution and make smart choices.

One activity that tends to strain people the most and lead to arthritis flares is shoveling dirt or soil. If you have arthritis and just ordered a pile of dirt to lay, you might be dreading what you're up against.

Traditional shoveling is one of the worst things we can do for our backs and joints. Let me tell you why...

Why you might be using shovels the wrong way

One reason is that shoveling requires strength to push the end of the shovel into the ground. Therefore, any awkward or wrong movements or misplaced posturing is amplified because of the resistance the ground is exerting against your tool. Pulling up compacted soil and tangly roots adds even more to this problem.

Another reason is the awkward positioning of the wrist required by traditional shovels. The straight stick handles require you to bend your wrist sideways and under, which is not at all the optimal position for gardeners with arthritis.

Add to that the stressful movements required to toss the dirt or soil where it needs to go. Too many people end up twisting their back around and exerting unnecessary wrist strength to toss the dirt to the side or behind them.

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With these well known problems in mind, how do we fix them?

That's where our quality gardening aids for people with arthritis comes in. Here are three simple, affordable tools that work well together to take your shoveling duties from painful to painless.

First, the Bosse Tools Ergonomic Garden Shovel has been tested by major universities, such as Arizona State, and has been proven to increase shoveling efficiency and reduce health risks. The secret is in its two handles that lie at a cross axis with the stick handle, allowing for both wrists to stay in a straight, strong and natural position.

In addition, the middle handle made for the forward arm is adjustable in order to get the perfect angle for wherever you are tossing the dirt. This advanced handle design more evenly distributes the strength required of your arms and back.

If gripping handles hurts your hands, you may also want to add in our special Bionic Relief Grip Garden Gloves. These gloves provide strategic padding to sensitive areas of the hand, thereby distributing stress point more evenly when gripping objects. It comes in men's and women's versions of various sizes.

Similar to the Bosse Tools Ergonomic Garden Shovel, the Hand-Digger 2 Hand Shovel provides for smart wrist posturing, but it's designed for smaller projects requiring trowels, like planting bulbs or seeds or transplanting.

Your summer garden and landscaping projects don't have to be painful. We know many of you want to take the DIY route instead of paying for expensive help. You may be able to gain full control back with these popular and scientifically tested shoveling aids.

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