Oct 7, 2014 | Spinal Health

September 23 marked the first official day of fall, which means we are officially beginning our journey into autumn, no matter how warm it still is outside. As trees shed their leaves and autumn sports leagues start up, don’t forget to take care of your muscles, bones, and joints! Our chiropractic office gets many calls from injured athletes and people who pull a muscle clearing leaves from the gutter. Follow our tips to stay safe, healthy, and injury-free this season. If you do experience pain or discomfort, call Texas Spine Clinic at 210-446-5341 for expert chiropractic and pain relief services!

Keep Proper Form

Back, neck, and shoulder pain are frequently brought on by poor posture or injuries caused by both light and strenuous activity. Whether you’re pulling boxes of holiday decorations out of the attic, doing yard work, or washing windows, maintaining correct form is important. Several basic pointers to keep in mind: keep your spine straight; lift heavy objects with your legs (don’t bend at the waist and round your back when picking up heavy items); wear appropriate shoes for physical activity; don’t twist when lifting; and don’t sit, stand, or lay in positions that strain your neck.

Warm Up

Most people associate warm-ups with strenuous exercise, like stretching before a long run. But did you know it can be beneficial to warm up before any physical activity? Even if you’re just hanging holiday lights or raking the leaves, you’re still using muscles and moving through a wide range of motion. Doing some light stretches to loosen up your muscles and limbs beforehand can be helpful in preventing injuries or placing extra strain on your body. Another good warm-up is a simple short walk to promote circulation. Warming up can also quicken your recovery time, meaning that after your weekend yard work, you don’t have to dread feeling sore until Thursday. Muscle stiffness is tied to many muscle injuries. If you start feeling stiff in the midst of your work, try doing stretches for a few minutes.

Take Breaks

If you have a lot of outdoor yardwork to get done, don’t try to cram it all into all into one 12-hour yard work session. This puts your body under a lot of strain and can lead to injury. If you can, break up the work into shorter sessions. Instead of putting your body through the ringer all day, it’s perfectly okay to take a break to recharge or even spread tasks out over several days. Definitely be sure to stop and rest if you start feeling sharp pain while working. Continuing to exercise or put pressure on pain can make it worse.

Stay Active

Most people are more active in the summertime. The nice weather sets the stage for more outdoor physical activity, from hiking to trips to the pool. We tend to be more sedentary in chillier weather because it’s more difficult to leave the comfort of our warm homes. But don’t forget that it’s important to incorporate some form of activity into your life all year round. Exercise keeps your joints limber and your heart healthy. Luckily, autumn temperatures are still pretty mild, so you can still put on a sweater and play in the yard with your kids or take a walk around the block. If it’s too frigid for you to go outside, there are still a lot of ways you can stay active indoors. You don’t have to do a hardcore workout everyday; the key is simply to get more movement in your life, whether it’s hitting the gym, cleaning the garage, doing yoga, or fixing appliances around the house.

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