It’s that time of year when the warmer temperatures of spring beckon people outdoors. Whether it be yard work or the start of a new running season, spring can find us with sore muscles and an injury caused in part by the inactivity of winter. The following suggestions can help minimize damage:
- Make sure you stretch both before and after physical activity. Some suggestions include the Gastrocnemius-Soleus Stretch, Hip flexor stretch, and active trunk rotation. Correct form for the above exercises can be found by viewing the videos at the end of this post.
- When completing yard work, make sure you lift with your legs and not your back. When weeding or planting make sure that you work from a kneeling position rather than bending from your waist.
- Timing is everything. A little bit every day is better than one long marathon session. If you are going to be working for a long time, switch tasks frequently to prevent injuries caused by repetative motion.
- Remember less is more, use a smaller shovel and avoid lifting too much. For big projects such as transplanting shrubs ask for help from a friend or neighbor.
If you find yourself sore and uncomfortable (even a day or two) following increased activity remember to:
- Ice the area that is uncomfortable.
- While NSAIDs (Ibuprofen/ naproxen) can reduce swelling, many herbal and homeopathic preparations can do a much more effective job and are gentler on your stomach, liver, and kidneys. Please contact your health care provider for details.
- Apply Traumeel® or Arnica gel over the affected area two to three times a day.
- See your favorite chiropractor for an adjustment and other therapy suggestions to relieve your pain.
- Heat should not typically be used for over exertion type injuries, but instead for osteo arthritic conditions.
With a little preparation and care, you can enjoy the opportunities warmer weather brings.