07 Feb Chiropractic Care and Protecting Yourself from Wintertime Injuries
Winter weather brings outdoor fun, challenges, and some extra risks for injury. Looking out for yourself with regular exercise, care at Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic, and cold weather precautions can help you stay injury-free throughout the winter.
Cold Weather’s Effects on Your Joints
Even fairly mild winter weather causes physical changes that can lead to stiffness and pain.
Medical science isn’t clear on exactly why this happens. One possibility is that as barometric pressure changes with the weather, muscles and tissues around joints expand, causing pain and swelling.
Winter joint pain is especially common for people with arthritis or other chronic pain problems. It can also affect those with conditions like depression or seasonal affective disorder, which often make pain feel more intense.
Common Wintertime Injuries
Risks in winter include:
- Slipping and falling on slick surfaces
- Winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating
- Snow shoveling and other outdoor chores
- Car accidents
Slippery, high-speed, and/or physically demanding winter activities may cause:
- Back injuries, such as muscle strain and spinal compression fractures
- Shoulder damage, including torn rotator cuffs caused by repetitive motions
- Sprains or strains of ligaments and muscles in areas such as the neck, knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist
- Broken bones, especially wrist and hip fractures
- Head injuries, such as concussions
- Whiplash injuries to the upper spine
Why a Strong Core is Essential
Your body’s core, including your spine, is the central command center that controls the quality and safety of all your movements.
A strong, flexible and well-aligned core gives you better stability and balance, helping to prevent falls and injuries. Exercises and treatments that strengthen and align your spine promote good posture, reduce strain on your spine and relieve pain.
Chiropractic Care to Prevent and Mitigate Injury
Without treatment, winter injuries often lead to chronic back and neck pain. Being proactive with chiropractic treatments can help you prevent injuries or recover from them more quickly, by:
- Aligning the spine to promote faster healing and recovery
- Improving stability, balance, range of motion and flexibility
- Relieving muscle tension
Your chiropractor will help you manage any pain effectively, by treating the underlying source rather than masking it with medication.
Tips to Help You Avoid Injuries
Whether you’re headed to the ski resort or just facing an especially cold, icy day, here are some ways to protect your joints and muscles:
- Warm up and stretch before winter chores or sports.
- Dress in layers to keep muscles warm.
- Wear proper safety equipment for winter sports.
- Quit when you get fatigued. Many skiing injuries happen at the end of the day when people go for one last run.
- Wear shoes or boots with non-slip soles in icy conditions.
- To avoid falls, don’t rush.
- When shoveling, push the shovel, rather than lifting. Take frequent breaks.
- Get regular exercise and stay at a healthy weight to reduce stress on joints.
- Eat a balanced diet and get plenty of sleep to boost your overall health.
Being proactive about your safety and health will help you stay strong and pain-free all year round.
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation at Our Broken Arrow Office
To begin your journey to better health, contact Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic at 918-940-4630 today.