Avoid Back Injuries This Winter
Cold temperatures and slippery surfaces make winter a common time to experience a back injury. Whether you sprain your back while shoveling snow or slip on an icy sidewalk, you could end up in physical therapy for your back pain.
To help keep your back safe and healthy all season long, Bon Secours In Motion physical therapists recommend these techniques:
Stretch Every Day
You have probably noticed that when you feel cold, your body gets tight. Your muscles, tendons and ligaments may pull tight and become stiff, especially if you spend time outside. Unfortunately, tight muscles and tendons are at a higher risk for becoming injured through sprains, strains and tears.
That’s why stretching every day is important. It helps you keep muscles loose and ready to move. When you first wake up in the morning, performing about five minutes of gentle back stretches can help you feel better all day long. If possible, incorporating stretching throughout your day, such as when you take breaks at work. More flexible muscles are less likely to get hurt.
Warm Up Before Exercise
You might not think of shoveling snow or hanging lights as exercise, but it definitely is. Shoveling snow can be exactly the same as lifting weights. That’s why you should warm up before these activities with stretches and movements to get your blood flowing to your muscles, like a few jumping jacks. Even just five minutes of warm-up exercises can protect your back.
Use Good Lifting Technique
When lifting heavy objects, such as a shovel full of snow, use good technique. Keep your back straight and bend at your knees. Use your leg muscles to help you lift instead of putting all the pressure on your back. Help yourself keep your balance by keeping the shovel close to your body instead of far away.
Strengthen Your Back
Strong backs are also less likely to experience injuries. You can strengthen your back and core by using good posture and performing simple exercises every day. Crunches, planks and bridges all help strengthen your core and can be performed without equipment.
At Bon Secours In Motion, our physical therapists are dedicated to helping you avoid injuries and stay healthy. We can help you properly recover from any injuries and teach you techniques to avoid injuries in the future.
If you experience back pain or injuries, contact Bon Secours In Motion to find pain relief.