Winter is in full swing here in Pennsylvania, which can only mean one thing: it’s that time of year again when your East Stroudsburg chiropractors remind you to treat your back kindly this winter. If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ll remember that last year we offered some tips on how to stay active during the winter. It can be tempting to sit inside and watch the latest Netflix or Hulu series all day, but it is important for your overall health as well as your back health to remain active in whatever way you can.
While cold weather can cause joints to feel stiff, the weather itself doesn’t play a huge role in back pain. However, back injuries and pain are more common during the winter. This is for several reasons. First, cold weather causes your muscles and ligaments to become tighter and more stiff, making it more likely that a simple movement will pull a muscle. Secondly, winter weather makes everyday activities such as walking the dog or driving to work more risky. And finally, shorter days and less sunshine can result in seasonal affective disorder, a depression that occurs due to changes in the seasons. This can cause more stress and tension, leading to back pain and discomfort.
Thankfully, there are ways to avoid all of the above and make it through winter without risking your back! In today’s blog, we’ll be going over some winter back-pain risk factors so you can know how to best avoid an accidental injury.
Three Winter Back Injury Risk Factors
- Shoveling Snow: Shoveling snow off of our driveways and sidewalks is something we do almost every day during the winter. However, it is also an easy way to accidentally injure ourselves. When shoveling snow, make sure to wear proper footwear with good traction to avoid slipping. Treat snow shoveling like exercise and be sure to warm up first. Take a few laps around your living room while sipping your morning cup of coffee and do a few light stretches to loosen up. The snow we get here can be wet and heavy, so make sure to not fill your shovel to the point where you have trouble lifting it, and remember to lift with the legs, not with the back.
- Driving: Car crashes are one of the most common causes of back and neck injuries regardless of the season. Even a small fender bender can cause painful whiplash. When driving in inclement weather, remember to take it slow and give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Always keep your headlights on to help other drivers see you, and keep an eye out for icy patches of the road. Always leave a large amount of space between yourself and the car in front of you, and assume it’s going to take longer to bring your car to a stop than normal.
- Skiing and Outdoor Activities: Skiing, snowboarding, and even sledding are great ways to stay active during the winter. However, they can also cause injuries if you’re not careful. Remember to always warm up and stretch before hitting the slopes and don’t attempt to ski down runs that are too advanced for your skills. If you find yourself at the top of a slope that is beyond your level, move to the side and slowly work your way down. Not only do you have to be careful not to fall, but you also need to watch out for other skiers on the slopes.
Keep Your Back Safe This Winter
When doing the above activities or others in the snowy weather, make sure to take care of your back. Always wear shoes with plenty of traction and be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for icy patches of sidewalks or other fall hazards, and be sure to take it easy and give yourself plenty of time to get around.
If you find yourself experiencing back pain this winter, the chiropractors at Marshalls Creek can help! Marshalls Creek Chiropractic provides wellness solutions ranging from chiropractic adjustments and massage to physiotherapy and corrective exercises.
When it comes to chiropractors, East Stroudsburg residents are lucky to have Dr. Brett and Dr. Anne Marie! Schedule an appointment to visit our chiropractic clinic and discuss any pain you might be having. We will work together to find a solution so you can enjoy life without back pain.