Summer is just around the corner and many of us are anticipating the numerous outdoor activities beckoning our return. If you have been in hibernation mode for the cold winter months your body (no matter what you may think) is not ready to jump right into activity, leaving your lower back injury prone. However, there are several easily manageable behaviours you can implement into your daily routine to help reduce the chances of injury when having fun in the sun.
1. Stretch – 5 to 10 minutes of daily static stretching will help increase muscular flexibility and allow you to perform any activity with more ease and less risk of injury
2. Warm-up – dynamic warm ups before activity will increase blood flow to the muscles and warm them up. This will prepare the muscles for activity and reduce the strain on the muscle that will lead to injury.
3. Ease into activity – take baby steps and build up your activity tolerance. Start with shorter hikes or jogs; take breaks when playing endurance sports like soccer; use substitute players to allow for rest while keeping up the pace of the game.
4. Stay hydrated – drinking plenty of WATER will help stave off early muscle fatigue. Tired muscles do not function optimally and leads to compensation by other muscles. Dehydration will lead to both mental and physical fatigue.
5. Core strengthening – a weak core can and does contribute to lower back pain. It is important to reduce any muscle imbalances in your core by strengthening not only your lower back but your abdominal, oblique, and gluteal muscles as well.
See your health care provider for proper exercises and exercise instruction to help reduce your chances of injury this summer.
Posted Dr. Rashaad Nauth-Ali on April 20th, 2012 [Activity, Chiropractic, Exercise, Fitness, Golf, Health and Wellness, Injury, Pain, Sports, Uncategorized]