If you’ve spent the winter in hibernation mode, your body may experience quite a shock when you start getting back into regular physical activity. After months of relaxing indoors, our muscles and tissues shorten due to lack of movement. Without the proper preventative measures, it puts you at increased risk for strains, sprains, and other common injuries when you get back out there.
Spring has almost sprung – start easing back into regular activity now and you’ll be outside hiking, canoeing, and playing tennis again in no time! Below the Back2Health team has prepared tips to prevent injuries as you plan your return to your favourite forms of exercise.
#1: Inspect your gear
If you’re a cyclist, check your bike for deficiencies or get a professional tune-up before you get rolling. After several months of cold, wet weather, your bike may have suffered from rust or other environmental damage. Don’t forget to check the tire pressure, brakes, and chain and readjust the seat height as well!
If you play a sport with equipment like rackets, balls, or sticks, check them for cracks and get the grips replaced if needed.
#2: Warm-up your muscles before exercise
All activities work different key muscles, but here are some important muscle groups to focus on before you start:
- Quadriceps: the front of your thigh
- Hamstrings: the back of your thigh, from hip to knee
- Calves: the back of your lower legs
- Iliotibial band (ITB): the side of your leg, from hip to shin
- Piriformis: one of the main glute muscles that could irritate your sciatic nerve if too tight
- Psoas: the muscle that travels along the front of your spine and connects your lower back to the upper thigh
- Gluteal muscles: the muscles in your buttocks
- Groin: the pelvic area situated at the top of your inner thigh
- Lower back: the lower portion of your back, between your lowest rib, and the upper part of your buttocks
In addition to your warm-up, do a bit of stretching in your cool-down period - after your workout - to loosen any areas that were placed under the greatest amount of strain.
#3: Balance your musculoskeletal system
- exercising regularly,
- stretch before and after exercise.
- getting good quality sleep,
- maintaining a healthy weight,
- eating healthy foods,
- monitor/maintain a proper posture when sitting/standing.
- avoiding smoking, and
- booking regular checkups for spinal alignment with your chiropractor
#4: Release tight muscles
Chiropractic helps create ease and alignment in your spine and nervous system. When your spine is in alignment, your tendons and muscles are more relaxed and you are less prone to injury. If you’ve been sedentary for much of the past few months, we recommend coming in for a chiropractic assessment before starting any intensive workouts this Spring. Talk to your chiropractor about the best treatment plan for where you are now and to help get you where you want to be.
Laser therapy has the ability to reach inflamed tissues deeper under your skin so you can get relief from pain in your shoulders, elbows, feet, knees, hip joints, neck, or upper-lower back. If any of your muscle tightness or soreness is due to inflammation, laser therapy is able to better target the specific location of the injury for accelerated healing. Laser therapy also helps to increase circulation in your body, which is another great way to avoid injury during physical activity.
Treatments for muscle injury
In addition to chiropractic and laser therapy, Back2Health Vancouver also offers other forms of treatment for injury.
Trigenics is an advanced assessment and treatment system that can treat aches and pains from physical activity, and is a great complement to balancing your musculoskeletal system with chiropractic care. In this technique, we use a diagnostic protocol involving highly specialized muscle testing to locate the specific location of the injury and/or imbalance. After we’ve uncovered the root cause, we use manual muscle manipulations and patient-focused breathing techniques to optimize function, reduce tension and alleviate pain – often in only a single visit!
Acupuncture is another technique we use to treat muscle pain and injury and promote faster healing. It is especially effective for treating common sport injuries, including Golfer’s elbow, joint sprains and strains, plantar fasciitis, and knee meniscal tears.
After suffering a sports injury, the most important step to healing is rest. Give yourself a day or two between intense workouts to allow your body to recuperate.
Tight muscles and body tension can also accelerate joint degeneration and can limit your ability to do everyday tasks! Even if you’re not preparing for intense physical activity this Spring, sore muscles and strained ligaments can affect your everyday activities.
To help you return to sport after a long winter season, we’ve got a special deal for you:
Enjoy 50% off the cost of a single laser session when you combine it with any chiropractic treatment! Just mention that you found this promotion on our blog when you book. Book your session now by calling 604-742-0111.