The 12 Days of Health and Wellness: Day 9, Enjoy Winter Activities

Winter time brings lots of snow related activities for both adults and kids.  These include sledding, skiing, ice skating, and shoveling.  While most of them are a lot of fun, they can also cause muscle spasms, strains, and back and body pain.  Chiropractors specialize in relieving these back and body spasms, strains and pains.  In addition, there some important steps to help avoid some of these winter activity related aches and pains.

When sledding, the spine often times is jarred going over jumps.  When ice skating, both kids and adults will generally fall on their rear more than of couple times.  Skiing and snowboarding also put stress on the joints in the spine and can cause pose some serious risks if you fall.  Shoveling, when done improperly, wreaks havoc on the muscles and the spine.  

After a long day of winter fun, our bodies often suffer.  But the pain doesn’t have to last.  Gentle chiropractic adjustments are a great way to get your body feeling better and in better alignment.  Remember to get your kids checked too!  While they may not complain of pain, their bodies and spines have experienced the same stresses.  A chiropractor who specializes in kids will be able to make sure that their spines are in line. 

Some of the aches and pains of winter fun can be avoided by following these suggestions:

  • Warm up. It is essential to warm up the body before doing any strenuous activity including skiing, ice skating, sledding and shoveling.  A warm up will greatly decrease muscle strain and soreness the next day.
    • Some recommended warm up exercises: jogging (in place), squats  with body weight, lunges with body weight, knee to chest exercises, cat-cow yoga exercise
  • Cool-down stretching after activity.  See our wellness and prevention page for recommended stretches.
  • Use proper form when shoveling:
    • Push the snow straight ahead
    • Bend the knees to lift
    • Take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue
    • Avoid twisting and turning motions
    • Avoid throwing the snow
    • Avoid lifting with the back
  • If you are sore after any of these activities: 
    • Apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes.  Then remove for at least 1 hour and repeat as needed.
    • Get you and your family checked by a chiropractor.  Chiropractors specialize at relieving the stresses, aches, and pains commonly caused by winter activities.

Source: The American Chiropractic Association www.acatoday.org/HealthTips

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