While the weather may not yet be conducive for weekend warrior activities, they will surely start in short order.
What kind of weekend activities do I prefer? Any increased activity to which you are not accustomed will likely create a challenge for you come Monday morning. This would include any kind of sport, yard work, gardening, deck repair, basement or attic cleanup, and, yes, even car-washing. If you are not used to it, a long car ride may be enough to do you in.
Each year, we see an influx of patients during this time due to an increase in activities after months of a more sedentary lifestyle. While we certainly appreciate the increased business, allow me to offer a few suggestions to mitigate any acute episodes of pain and possible disability. First, and foremost, don’t underestimate the power of the pre-activity stretch. Think of the muscles you will be using and concentrate on stretching those. If you’ll be running or biking, stretch your legs. If you will be doing a lot of bending, then stretch your back.
Of all the activities that contribute to back injuries, gardening is the one for which we see most patients. Of those who report gardening as their source of injury, it is generally because they spend hours at a time tending to their yards. Holding stooped, bent-over postures for prolonged periods causes muscle fatigue that causes pain hours after the activity ends; many times, after waking the following morning.
In addition to a good pre-activity stretch, the following suggestions may limit your pain and minimize any prolonged effect:
- Mid-activity mini-stretches: in the case of prolonged or repeated bending, think opposite direction. Put your hands on your hips and gently bend backward for 2-3 deep breathes.
- Use ice for 10-12 minutes on any body part that feels irritated.
- Gently massage any tight sore muscles.
Give us a call for any pain lasting more than 2-3 days. This will minimize scar tissue formation, which ultimately contributes to a long-term chronic condition.
Subscribe to our YouTube page at Middletown Health, Wellness and Chiropractic for additional solutions for better health, Naturally!