Were you able to get through all the pre-Christmas activity of hanging lights and hauling your tree, as well as boxes of decorations, without any back aches or pains this year? Or, like many other people, did all your hard work give you a pain in the back? Because holiday and winter-time injuries are common, here are some tips from your friends at Innovative Chiropractic in Mill Creek, WA for prevention or relief of back aches or pains.
Let’s Stay at Home
The majority of us become less active in the winter. This is because it’s cold and it’s dark in the mornings and the evenings, and so many of us find it very difficult to resist the temptation to stay at home, in front of a fire watching a favorite show on TV.
The problem is that decreasing your activity levels can cause back pain for the following reasons.
- You have very little support for your back when you lounge around on the sofa and other soft furnishings.
- Certain muscle groups, especially the hip flexors and hamstrings, tend to tighten if you spend a lot of time sitting, laying down and generally moving less. There is a direct link between shortening of these muscle groups and back pain.
Try home exercising if you really don’t want to get outside or the gym. It is particularly important to do stretching for the hip and lower back muscles, and core strengthening exercises will help support your lower back as you lounge.
Time to Shovel
Washington winters can mean snow and snow means shoveling, which often can’t be avoided, particularly if the driveway needs to be cleared so you can get to work. Here’s how to be safe when shoveling.
- A vital piece of advice when it comes to avoiding back injuries is to “use your legs”. Because our legs are much stronger than our backs using them to lower and lift our bodies means we can keep our backs straight and avoid bending the spine.
- Reduce the weight you are lifting each time by putting less snow on each shovel load.
- Repeatedly twisting and throwing the snow away is not a good thing. Rather carry the shoveled snow to where you want it.
So “how to avoid winter back pain” in a chestnut shell: keep active even in front of the TV at home; remember your posture and to use your legs when lifting and carrying and also shoveling the snow in your driveway. If you do happen to suffer a back injury, apply an ice pack for twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off to help with the pain and reduce the swelling.
And remember to visit your Chiropractor at Innovative Chiropractic in Mill Creek, WA to find relief. Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!