Guilderland, NY – It seems every season has reasons that bring people walking into chiropractic offices with back pain. In the spring and summer, it is usually gardening and landscaping projects and in the fall, it is all the raking and bagging leaves. It never fails that after Thanksgiving, we always have patients who injury their backs and necks putting up lights, decorations and shoveling snow. So here are some tips to prevent injuries this holiday season and basic back care should you become injured.
Take your time and take breaks. Putting up holiday decorations and shoveling snow can take some time. Most people are not used to bending, reaching, twisting and lifting for a few hours straight. Your back muscle will fatigue quickly and when they do, it puts more stress on the joints, ligaments and discs. The result could be an acute back/neck strain or disc injury. So take your time and take breaks to admire your work.
Keep your stomach muscles tight. Most of you have heard the term “core” strength so you know what I am talking about. But if you have never heard this term, your deep stomach muscles are referred to as your “core” or center of strength. By keeping these muscle engaged or contracted during times of physical strain, is gives tremendous support to your spine.
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE). If you do injure your back, follow the RICE principle. This is most often used to treat sports injuries, but the same applies to your back. Rest by sitting in a supported chair or lay down on your back on the floor with your knees bent. Get up and move frequently. One of the worst things you can do is lay in bed all day. Apply ice for 15 minutes every 2 hours. NEVER apply heat on an acute injury. Most patients who injure their backs come into the office and say “I slept on a heating pad all night and the pain was worse the next day”. Heat will make the swelling worse and cause more pain. Compress the area with a low back brace or use kinesio tape to help reduce swelling.
If pain persists it is always best to follow up with your chiropractor. If you do not have a chiropractor, we would be happy to help you. Chiropractic care consists of various techniques and modalities to facilitate the healing process. Some of the procedures that we use in our office are traction, myofascial release, cold laser, Arthrostim adjusting, manual joint mobilization, electric muscle stimulation, heat and cold therapies, taping and rehabilitation.
As always, you can call the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center for a free consultation at 518-869-3415. Please visit our website for more information at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com. We would be happy to be a part of your healthcare team. Have a safe and happy Holiday Season!