This winter will you be skiing in Vail, shoveling your driveway in Wheat Ridge, or shopping for the holidays at Belmar in Lakewood? Injury prevention is crucial in the winter and can make your life a lot less stressful. Colorado residents are some of the most physically active in the nation and this is partially due to the great winter activities that are accessible around Denver. As a chiropractor, I see many people that come into Core Family Chiropractic for not taking proper steps to prevent injury. There are some basic, essential tips that can be very beneficial and reduce your chances of injury.
What are Common Winter Injuries?
- Sprains or Strains
- Whiplash – Due to falling on the mountains or car accidents in snow
- “Hip” Issues
- Back Pain
- Auto Accidents
- Neck Pain
- Disc Conditions
- Joint Problems
- And More…
There are many important basic steps you can easily perform to reduce chances of injury during winter sports, shoveling snow, or just walking outside. If you are planning on doing physical activity such as winter sports or shoveling this winter, it is extremely important to warm up prior to the activity and to cool down following the activity. It does not take a long time to perform a warm up. This is a very simple step but is extremely important to reduce muscle strain and spasms. During shoveling, be careful with rotation when throwing snow as it can make you more susceptible to injury of the back. If you are performing an activity or winter sport that requires leg strength, perform some standing squats prior to the activity to warm your muscles up prior to going down the mountain or doing heavy lifting of snow. This process will only take 5-10 minutes and could save you from discomfort, pain, and the inability to do the activities you love.
More General Winter Activity Tips:
- Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing for your activity. This will keep the muscles warm, flexible and reduce possible injury or strain throughout the duration of your activity.
- Be sure to adequately rest if you become tired, as fatigue increases chance of injury.
- Warm up properly using light exercises in the areas you will be using for your winter sport or activity. Lunges, squats, shoulder and mid back exercises are easy to perform and take little time to perform.
- Cool down stretching post exercise or activity.
- Slips and falls on ice can cause lots of damage to your spine and extremities, so be extremely careful when walking on ice or snow.
- Drive carefully, even low speed car accidents can produce damage to the body.
These steps seem very simple but can make a substantial difference in your health. It is important to take care of your body so that you may remain mobile and able to perform these winter activities without injury or back pain. If you have experienced a fall or injury this winter, contact our office to have our chiropractor figure out how to most effectively get you back to the activities you love.