Snow Fall Could Mean Injuries: Take Precaution
Snow is in
the air and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) warns of
painful muscle strains that could give you the winter blues.
walking outside in the freezing weather without layers of warm clothing
can intensify older joint problems and cause a great deal of pain. As
muscles and blood vessels contract to conserve the body’s heat,
the blood supply is reduced. This lowers the functional capacity of
many muscles, particularly among the physically unfit. If we know what
areas of our bodies are most vulnerable, we can condition ourselves in
the off season to avoid injury and costly healthcare bills.
The ACA and
its Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness suggest the
following tips to help you fight back against winter weather:
— Do 10 to 15 squats. Stand with your legs a shoulder’s
width apart, knees aligned over your feet. Slowly lower your buttocks
as you bend your knees over your feet. Stand up straight again.
— Do several lunges. Take a moderately advanced step with one
foot. Let your back knee come down to the floor while keeping your
shoulders in position over your hips. Repeat the process with your
— Do knee-to-chest stretches to fight compression injuries caused
by repetitive bouncing over the snow. Either sitting or lying on your
back, pull over knees to your chest and hold for up to 30 seconds.
- Don’t forget cool-down stretching for all three sports
— At the bottom of the sledding hill, for instance, before
trudging back up, do some more knees-to-chest stretches, or repetitive
squatting movements to restore flexibility.
snow can also wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system. The ACA
suggests the following tips for exercise of the snow shoveling variety.
- If you must shovel snow, be careful. Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work.
- Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.
can strain “de-conditioned” muscles between your shoulders,
in your upper back, lower back, buttocks and legs. So, do some warm-up
stretching before you grab that shovel.
- When you
do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Don’t try to throw it.
Walk it to the snow bank. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.
- Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.
- Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.
- Stop if you feel chest pain, or get really tired or have shortness of breath. You may need immediate professional help.
For more information visit http://www.amerchiro.org.