Spring Warm-Ups

Avoid Common Spring Injuries

We are finally nearing the end of a very long and chilly winter.  I think we are all looking forward to some warmer days ahead, getting more active and loosening up some of those stiff muscles and aching joints!  Make sure to ease yourself into any activity as this is a common time of the year for sprains and strains which are easily preventable with the right preparation.

Here are a few tips:

  • Avoid tasks which require bending for at least one hour after rising from bed as the intervertebral discs have a little less flexibility and are more vulnerable to strains.
  • Before engaging in activities such as pulling weeds, digging, shovelling or raking it is wise to do some warming up.  Walking is an excellent warm-up, as are squats and lunges.
  • Have a break every few hours.  This allows tissues that have become overstretched in repetitive positions to return to their ‘set point’.
  • Avoid bending and lifting later in the day.  Your lower back can only take so much in one day.  Many lower back injuries occur later in the day (or the next morning) due to gradual and repetitive trauma of the supporting spinal tissues, making them much more vulnerable to strain (sometimes during seemingly simple movements).
  • The day after.  If you have a big day involving repetitive bending or frequent lifting it is wise to rest or choose a different activity the following day.  Many lower back injuries occur because of inadequate tissue recovery times.
  • If you have been prescribed exercises for your back make sure you return to your regular routine.