Get Outdoors and Soak Up That Sunshine
After a long winter of up-and-down temperatures, high winds, and snow, Spring is a welcome relief. Spring is the time to throw open the windows to air out your home, get outdoors, and yes, clean! Spring maintenance generally surrounds yard work: cleaning gutters, clearing and planting your garden, mulching, raking the lawn, setting up patio furniture, and prepping your pool for summer.
In fact, most people increase their physical activity once the warm weather strikes because they finally get out and walk or run, ride a bike, roller skate, skateboard, play tennis, you name it!
So how you can take advantage of all that spring has to offer without doing damage to your spine?
Tips To Prevent Spring Back Pain
Quick recap: Your spine is an intricate system made up of over 120 muscles, 100 joints, and 220 ligaments that work together to keep your spine stable, maintain your flexibility, and allow for a wide range of movement such as standing, sitting, bending, and twisting. Because your spine is the core of your body it is essential that you treat your it right. This goes beyond practicing good posture, exercising, and eating a balanced diet to include the proper steps for protecting the health of your spine:
Whether you consider it to be or not, your spring chores are forms of exercise, same as riding a bike or walking on a nature path. Regularly stretching offers a host of health benefits including:
- Improved balance
- Strengthened core
- Increased flexibility
Warm up your muscles and ease them into an “active” state by stretching before any physical activity. This will help to keep your body limber and decrease the chance of muscle strains or soreness.
- Start with your head and neck, working your way down through your spine to your legs.
- Hold a stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Don’t bounce.
- Don’t hold your breathe.
- Stretch before and after to warm up and cool off.
Looking for more tips to reduce or prevent back pain while gardening? Check here!
Lifting bags of soil, moving heavy lawn furniture, and planting in your garden all require proper form and technique to reduce your risk of damaging your spine. Remember to maintain a proper form:
- Bend at your knees when lifting, not your waist, and lift with your legs.
- Don’t bend or twist at odd angles.
- Ask a friend for help when lifting or moving heavier items. (Especially if you need to climb on a ladder! Even a short fall can cause damage.)
Find more tips for lifting items here!
Your body talks, so listen to what it says. General discomfort after an extended period of time working is not unusual, but if your pain increases, stop. Pain is your body’s way of telling you there is a problem. Take regular breaks while working, stay hydrated, and stop if you begin to feel muscle weakness, tingling, or pain. For larger projects, break up the work into segments and spread them across multiple days or weeks. This way you won’t overwork your spine!
Make William Capicotto MD your first choice for surgery.
No one wants to be miss out on their favorite spring activities because of back or neck pain. If you experience lingering pain, we invite you to call our office to schedule a consultation. At William Capicotto, we restore motion to your spine so you can move on with your life.