Winter Activities that Can Cause Pain and How to Prevent It

Man experiencing knee pain in the snow

Do You Know How to Lower Your Risk of Painful Winter Injuries?

Becoming a couch potato isn't the only way to prevent aches and pains this winter. Making a few changes to your usual routine will reduce your risk of injury when participating in these winter activities.

Winter Sports

Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and ice hockey can take a toll on your body, particularly if you only hit the slopes or the rink occasionally. Falls and collisions can cause fractures, dislocations, and cuts, but those aren't the only injuries you need to worry about. Back and neck pain, sprains, strains, spinal misalignments, and muscle spasms can happen even if a fall seems fairly minor.

How to Avoid Injuries: The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends warming up with squats, lunges, and jumping jacks before you venture outside. Warming up improves flexibility, which can help you avoid ending the day with a heating pad on your back. Snow tubing, sledding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing can be good choices if you prefer activities that are a little easier on the body.

Shoveling Snow

Snow may look light and fluffy, but the white stuff can be surprisingly heavy. In fact, each shovelful may weigh several pounds. The wetter the snow, the heavier the load. If weight lifting isn't part of your usual workout routine, you may be more likely to experience muscle or joint pain. Twisting when you shovel can also strain muscles and joints and cause lower back pain.

How to Avoid Injuries: Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advice and use a shovel with a longer shaft that allows you to keep your back straight. The CDC also notes that you can avoid twisting your body if you step in the direction that you're throwing snow. Of course, if you experience chest pain or shortness of breath while shoveling, call 911 immediately.

Holiday Decorating

Putting up sparkling lights and other decorations is part of the fun of the holiday season. Unfortunately, the holidays won't be quite as enjoyable if you fall off a ladder. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 200 decorating injuries happen every day during the holidays. Many of them involve falls.

How to Avoid Injuries: Use caution when standing on ladders to string lights or add decorations to your roof. Don't stand on the top rung, ask someone to hold the ladder, and don't reach too far when you're on the ladder. Keep three of your four limbs on the ladder at all times to avoid losing your balance.

Walking

Even walking can become a risky activity during the winter. Patches of ice and puddles from melting snow make it easy to slip and fall.

How to Avoid Injuries: Wear shoes or boots with non-slip soles to improve traction. Add cleats around your boots if you'll be hiking or walking in potentially slippery conditions. Use salt or ice melt to reduce icy spots on stairs, porches, driveways, and sidewalks. If you run for exercise, schedule your runs for the middle of the day when temperatures are higher, or work out on a treadmill instead.

Family Time

Does your family enjoy playing board games or building puzzles on cold winter evenings? Unfortunately, these activities can also lead to aches and pains after a few hours. Remaining in one position for too long can cause muscle fatigue and strain your spine, muscles, and ligaments.

How to Avoid Injuries: Take frequent breaks and pay attention to your posture to prevent injuries. When you sit, keep your knees at the same level as your hips or lower, while keeping your forearms parallel to the ground. The ACA recommends choosing a chair that adequately supports your back and using a footrest if your feet don't touch the ground.

If you do experience injuries, aches, or pains, give us a call. Chiropractic treatment can relieve your pain naturally and help you recover from injuries more quickly. We offer a variety of helpful treatments, including spinal manipulation and mobilization, massage, soft tissue mobilization, and more. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Digging Out: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Health to Shovel Snow, 2/13/19

Newswise: Chiropractors Stress Injury Prevention by Warming Up Prior to Winter Activities, 2/3/17

American Chiropractic Association: Maintaining Good Posture

Consumer Product Safety Commission: Home Safe Home for the Holidays: CPSC and Interior Designer Sabrina Soto Share Holiday Safety Tips This Season, 11/20/19

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Emergency Contact: 678-472-7927

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

Emergency Only

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "When I first went to DR. Steingraber I I could not play a round of golf because of my lower back pain. After one month under Dr Steingraber I went back to golfing. That was app. 11 years ago. Keeps me glued together."
    Sam H.
  • "Dr. Steingraber and his staff, are always pleasant, smiling and accommodating. Dr. Steingraber is very knowledgeable and has treated my back and neck with great success. I would recommend him highly."
    Joe N.
  • "After a period of intense visits due to a flare up of my back injury in May of 2016, I am now on a maintenance routine which obviously improves my mobility. Prayer, and the work by Dr. Craig has enabled me go from barely walking to do 'within limits' most anything I desire. I am not totally pain free but what a difference and I am not on any medications."
    Tony D.
  • "What a wonderful experience! I had suffered from back and neck pain for quite a while when a friend recommended Dr Steingraber. He thoroughly evaluated the cause of my discomfort and explained the best course of treatment. I feel so much better!"
    Angie B.
  • "Dr. Craig’s motto should be: “ Happy Back—Happy Life —-which is exactly what Dr. Craig provides for me.
    I like to rearrange the deck furniture, move plants around—-YES— out goes my back—-Get to Dr. Craig immediately—after a few adjustments—-Happy back, Happy life. A caring, place to releave pain and enjoying visiting with friendly staff."
    Yuvonne H.
  • "After 3 Back surgeries, I found Dr. Craig and something I thought would never work, changed my life. I feel better than I have felt in over 20 years. I am now working and playing golf again pain free. Dr. Craig's extensive medical background and sports knowledge are without equal. He made me a lifetime believer!"
    Mike S.
  • "Dr. Craig and his staff genuinely care about their patients and have big hearts. They have become like family to me over the years. I love them dearly and would highly recommend them to anyone with minor or chronic aches, pains, or ailments."
    Lynn K.
  • "We adore Missy, Dr Craig and the Staff!! Our whole family visits monthly!! kids Club is awesome!!"
    Taña L.