Chiropractic Advice to Protect your Spine During Winter Activities
Winter is upon us! People don’t realize what a strain winter weather activities can place on your body. Even fun outdoor events like skiing, ice skating and sledding can cause severe muscle strain, spasms, and sprains. It is very important to take the time to warm up and loosen your muscles before these activities, just like you would before a workout. And, don’t forget to bundle up! Warm clothing helps keep the blood flowing in your extremities, which keeps the muscles loose.
HAVE YOU BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A BULGING DISC AND CAN’T IMAGINE PARTICIPATING IN WINTER ACTIVITIES? DECOMPRESSION THERAPY MIGHT BE YOUR ANSWER TO A PAIN-FREE WINTER.
Now, let’s talk about the not-so-fun winter activity of shoveling snow. The American Chiropractic Association suggests the following tips when the piled snow requires removal:
- If you must shovel snow, be careful. Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work.
- Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.
- Shoveling can strain "de-conditioned" muscles between your shoulders, in your upper back, lower back, buttocks and legs. So, do some warm-up stretching before you grab that shovel.
- When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Don't try to throw it. Walk it to the snowbank. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.
- Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.
- Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.
- Stop if you feel chest pain, or get really tired or have shortness of breath. You may need immediate professional help.
- After any of these winter activities, if you are sore, apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take it off for an hours. Repeat a couple of times each day over the next day or two.
“We see an uptick in patients after a big snow due to severe back pain caused by snow shoveling,” says Dr. Carlson. “It is so important to make sure you are warmed up before going out in the frigid temperatures pushing hundreds of pounds of wet snow.”
Carlson Chiropractic highly recommends a visit for an adjustment after winter activities. Call us today.