Tips on How to Protect Your Back During Winter
For those who live in cold climates, you know how dangerous the ice and snow can be. Slips on the sidewalks can cause severe injury and heavy snow can lead to back problems due to constant shoveling. With so many risks for damage to the body during long winters, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has developed a list of tips in order to prevent back and neck problems down the road.
All of the bending, lifting and twisting during snow shoveling can aggravate discs in the lower back, which could lead to a bulge causing nerve pressure and pain. The ACA recommends that if you aware of heavy snow coming to your region to be prepared. Get up a little earlier and shovel before you leave for work, and take your time so as not to cause injury. Stretch out a bit before you do shovel, as this is considered a work out too!
The ACA also recommends that when you shovel; try avoiding tossing the snow into far away piles. Instead push it forward as much as possible towards the snow bank and avoid sudden twisting or turning. In addition, use your legs to lift instead of your back just as with lifting other heavy items. And always make sure to take breaks so that your muscles do not become overly exerted quickly. If you notice any sudden pain or shortness of breath, make sure to stop and perhaps consult a physician as you may be experiencing a problem.
Regular chiropractic visits are always important but especially during this time of year. Before and after shoveling, an adjustment can keep you limber and your muscles relaxed. This can prevent future injury or help treat new ones. If you experience falls due to slipping on ice, make sure to consult your regular physician and chiropractor in order to see if any vertebrae were knocked out of alignment. Catching a problem like this early may prevent it from becoming a major injury later.