With the holiday season soon upon us you cannot afford to be down and out with back pain or injury. For those of us that suffer with back pain all is not “candy canes and snowflakes.” Those beautiful little droplets of frozen water can accumulate not only in inches but in feet as we have seen recently just north of us here in Grove City. For many, snow removal is a painful experience.
Natural Options and Dr. Michael C Flynn, Chiropractor and rehabilitation specialist, give the following recommendations to prevent flare ups of old back injury and to avoid new injury.
In today’s society we are always in a hurry to get here or there and a snowfall is just another delay in our busy schedule. Mornings, when we are trying to get the kids to school and be on time for work or other events can be especially stressful. When we sleep, the process of “imbibement” (to drink, absorb or take in) occurs within the discs of our spinal column. This causes a slight increase in disk size, which places us in immediate danger of injuring the disc (herniation or bulge), which can lead to severe back pain and in many cases, leg pain. The best way to avoid these sometimes disabling injuries is to simply wait 10 to 20 minutes upon waking before you begin the arduous task of snow shoveling. In that 10 or 20 minutes of having breakfast, watching TV or reading the paper, your body weight and gravity will bring that “imbibed disk” to its normal size, decreasing your risk of disc injury. It is also important to lift with your legs and not with your back during snow removal, avoid twisting with a loaded shovel, take smaller loads and push snow rather than lifting and throwing if you can.
If you do experience back pain, strain, or even a tweak, have the issue addressed as soon as possible to avoid additional injury. Treating injuries early, before they are debilitating, can prevent weeks, even months of pain.