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Avoiding Springtime Back Pain

March 1, 2017

With the holidays behind us and the snow (hopefully) beginning to melt on the ground, we’re fast approaching the spring. This season is considered by popular culture and marketed by retailers as the perfect time to start back up with your favorite outdoor activities and home improvement projects that may have been put on the backburner over the long winter.

The sunshine, flowers, and all around “fresh start” feeling of the season urges everyone to get outside and get active! If you live in an area that had you cooped up inside all winter long, you’re probably bursting at the seams to jump into outdoor action. But if the winter has kept you prisoner for the past couple months, you most likely weren’t as active as usual and your body may not be ready for a sudden return to activity. Jumping in too soon could put you at risk for a back injury- and land you right back on the couch.

The key to any new or renewed physical activity is to ease back in. Warming up and gradually returning to specific sports or intense physical activity will protect your body and your spine from sudden stressors, and let you get out there and enjoy the coming season. Before you spring forward with your new exercise program or tackle that honey do list, here are a few suggestions to help your back remain pain and injury free.

Avoiding Springtime Back Pain

Spring Cleaning

Whether we like it or not, a thorough cleaning out of the house and/or garage has become spring’s loudest trademark. And believe it or not, there Is a right and wrong way to do it as far as your back is concerned. Standing back and staring at the seemingly endless amount of work in front of you prompts some to kick it into overdrive and do too much too fast, leaving you with a sore or injured back and the inability to do anything else. Instead, slow down. Make a list of everything that’s got to be done and assign one or two tasks into each day.

Springtime Gardening

Tidying up the yard and revamping the garden can be one of the most enjoyable springtime hobbies for some and it can also make the spine quite susceptible to injury if not done using appropriate body mechanics. Getting down on the ground to plant flowers or bending over to rake can take a toll on your back muscles. So, if you must bend down, always keep your back straight and bend at the knees so you can position yourself as close to your work area as possible to minimize twisting and reaching.

Outdoor Exercise

When the sun comes out, it feels like the perfect time for many people to jump back into an outdoor exercise routine like jogging, hiking, or biking. Make sure you take at least 5 minutes to get in a solid stretch prior to starting, and wear appropriate shoes that support your arch and absorb the shock of impact so your spine doesn’t have to. While we’re on the topic of shoes, try to reserve the flip flops for the beach or the pool as they generally do not provide enough support for your feet, sometimes giving the greenlight for an aching back.

And for everyone who can’t wait to break out the clubs and get back out on the golf course, try not to carry your heavy bag around on one shoulder for too long. Holding anything heavy on one side compromises your posture and your spine’s alignment. Try a rolling golf bag and use proper body mechanics when swinging that golf club. This sport is one that places a lot of stress on the spine and its surrounding muscles, so making sure you’re doing it right can help to avoid unnecessary strain.
In conclusion, don’t let back pain get in the way of the things you love this spring. Just keep these tips in mind and remember to always listen to what your body is telling you. A little TLC for your back can really go a long way!


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