Winter can be a dreary time of year in the UK, with most days being wet and cold. It can become hard to get out of bed in the morning as the body’s joints start to feel a little stiffer due to the cold.
Unfortunately, many people wind up at our busy Fareham chiropractic clinic over the winter break because the stiffness in their joints becomes quite painful. We also see many patients visiting our clinic with injuries that they have sustained over the winter months.
Once we have helped these clients recover from their joint stiffness or injury, we usually share some tips for maintaining good spinal health in the winter months. In this post, our Fareham chiropractor will be sharing several of those tips.
Why Does Spinal Health Decline In Winter? Our Fareham chiropractor explains …
We often see an uptick in patients with back pain visiting our Fareham chiropractor clinic in winter. This increase is explained by the fact that people tend to be more sedentary in the winter months. As a result, they become stiff, sore, and lose mobility.
Spending long periods seated also increases the risk of the body being placed in an awkward position. This can lead to poor posture, which may also cause pain and mobility problems.
Lastly, we can often see an influx in the number of patients in winter because of an increase in trip and fall injuries. The presence of more ice and water on roads and footpaths means that people are more likely to slip and sustain an injury that forces them to visit our chiropractors.
Tips For Looking After Your Spine in Winter
Here are some simple strategies which will help you avoid stiffness and reduce the risk of injury this winter.
Continue exercising throughout the winter months
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good spinal health. It will keep your core muscles strong, help you maintain good posture, and lubricate your joints.
Our chiropractors often recommend the use of stationary bikes, indoor rowing machines, treadmills, and elliptical machines as they can be used regardless of the weather. They make it easy to work up a sweat and keep the pounds off during the winter months. Another great option is to visit a heated indoor pool. Swimming laps in warm water is surprisingly relaxing during winter and will keep your musculoskeletal system in great shape.
Don’t spend too much time on electronic devices
When the weather is cold, most people will curl up in front of a TV, phone, tablet, or another electronic device. Unfortunately, spending many hours on these devices can lead to postural issues including forward head posture, also known as “Text Neck”. If you are using an electronic device, remember to take regular breaks and stretch frequently.
Keep yourself warm as much as possible
This tip sounds like a no-brainer but a surprisingly high number of people are still walking around in winter wearing flimsy jumpers which don’t offer much protection. Their exposure to the cold causes stiffness in their joints and increases the risk of injury. Make sure you own some warm winter clothes that are still in good condition. Consider this investment one that you must make for good health.
Be careful when shovelling
While we aren’t as prone as some areas of the UK to high snowfalls, if and when it does snow it does seem to grind everything to a halt. Grabbing a shovel to dig out your car or clear a path may be a necessity. Unfortunately, it can be a time when injuries occur!
If you do need to do a spot of shovelling, make sure you:
- Use good technique
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, keep your torso facing the load, slightly bend your knees, and avoid twisting as you work. You should also limit how much material you place in each scoop.
- Warm up before starting
Perform several stretches to loosen your muscles and joints before starting.
- Use the right shovel for the job
A scoop/snow shovel should be used to make the job easier.
- Take breaks as you work
Avoid working for long stretches as you are more likely to strain your back.
Stretching is particularly important when the weather is cool, because it loosens your muscles and joints. Try to get into the habit of stretching each morning when you wake and just before you go to bed.
Is your back giving you trouble this winter? Our team of experienced chiropractors at Homewood Chiropractic Clinic are here to help you. To make an appointment with one of our team, call 01329 280 283.