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Let it snow, let it snow… okay my back hurts

  • 15 December 2020
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Let it snow, let it snow… okay my back hurts, stop now!

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Back to Motion!

As usual, we are expecting the gift of snowfall from mother nature. Which means shovelling. Which, to us, also means back injuries! You never realize just how much you use certain motions or muscles groups until it hurts. Back injuries can be challenging because it is very hard to rest some of the most used joint and muscles in the body.

Prevent

Preventing injuries is always the best-case. If you have ever been given “homework” in the form of exercises or stretches, it is because we try very hard to set you up for success, but what happens outside the clinic is even more important.

So, before you head out to shovel snow, try these things to save your back:

Stretch! Limbering up might seem silly, but getting the muscles moving before asking them to work is a founding principle of all exercise – and shoveling snow is a workout! Dynamic moving stretches are best, for example leg swings, arm circles and toe tapping cross-body from standing position. 1-2 minutes of warm-up.
Get a good snow shovel. A quality, ergonomic, metal shovel cuts through even deep or icy snow, making the process smoother, easier, and quicker.
Switch sides. It is awkward, but it will help keep you from seizing up one side of your body. Every few shovelfuls, simply stand straight and switch sides.
Take breaks! If you have a large driveway, or if you are not feeling strong, take breaks or switch out with someone in your household.
Drink water before, during and after.
Stretch again! Static stretches are best after shovelling. For example, stretch the back of the legs on a stair step(one at a time), bring your knees to your chest on your back and lastly stretch your arm along the wall in a hallway with the palm against the wall. Hold for 20-30 seconds each.

Treat

If your spine gets angry during snow shoveling, think about setting up additional chiropractic, acupuncture, or physiotherapy appointments over the next few months. For mild tension or muscle aches, try stretches or an Epsom salt bath.

If you felt “something” go out, make an appointment to see us right away. We can assess acute injuries and ensure you get the care you need right away so you can feel relief and so you do not end up with a chronic condition.

Recover

We often think of recovery as resting, but that is not always the case. Too much rest can reduce muscle strength which puts you at higher risk of reinjury. This is where we are going to tell you to do your homework again!

Part of your recovery plan could include medication, hot or cold therapy, exercises or stretches, and additional treatments. We may also show you some movements to avoid or more ergonomic ways to bend or move that will reduce the strain on the affected area. The most important part of the recovery process is consistency.

Sending best wishes for a Merry and Bright, and injury free holiday season. As always, we are here when you need it most to get you Back to Motion.

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