Keeping a healthy back in the winter isn't easy when battling snow, ice and wind chills outside and a sedentary lifestyle inside, but there are many simple things a person can do, said chiropractor Brittany Sutton of Aberdeen Chiropractic.
The American News asked Sutton to share some tips on how to avoid an aching back this winter or anytime.
1. Shovel snow properly
Shoveling snow is exercise and a person should treat it just like they are going to a workout, Sutton said. That means do a few warm-up stretches before going outside. Also, start with a few smaller scoops before taking big full scoops of snow.
It is important to keep the shovel in front of you and bend your knees, she said. Scooping from the side and twisting puts more strain on the back.
2. Wear shoes with
Slipping on the ice can result in back injuries. Shoes or boots with smooth soles make it more likely to slip, she said.
"Look at the soles of your shoes and see if they are worn out," she said. "It might be time to get some new ones."
3. Use handrails
Whenever there are handrails available, outside or inside, use them, Sutton said. It is a simple practice that can help avoid falls and subsequent injuries.
4. Keep your
People come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but when a person gets too heavy, it can put a strain on the back.
"As we grow outward, the back has to take that strain," Sutton said. "It is like a pregnant woman who starts to have lower back pain. There are people, especially men, that carry a lot of weight in their stomachs. Losing some of that weight will help their backs."
A healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will help maintain ideal weight and give a person more energy, she said.