Here are some tips for the colder weather.
If you are going to be lifting and moving things, working in the yard, or engaging in other forms of exercise, make sure to warm up and stretch before you begin. Start slowly and maintain the right posture as you increase the intensity of exercise over 10-15 minutes. Take short breaks and give your muscles and joints a chance to ‘adjust’ to the task. Use your knees rather than your lower back to lift heavy objects, avoid twisting movements and breath normally at all times.
Hold heavy objects close to the body to reduce strain on the lumbar spine. The feet should be wide apart to increase the base of support, and the knees must be slightly bent. Use your entire body to move objects rather than twisting your back. If you are raking leaves or picking up pine cones, avoid twisting motions of the lower back such as throwing the object over the shoulder behind you.
With the right combination of breathing, warm up and the correct technique, you can reduce the probability of injury significantly. If you have aches and pains that get worse during the winter, it may be time to see a physical therapist.
I’m Steve Taylor, Physical Therapist, of Southern Physical and Occupational Therapy Services
Moving You To A Pain-Free Lifestyle