Why You Should Visit Your Chiropractor This Winter
Not sure if you need to see the chiropractor this winter? Whether you have a few aches or pains or want to avoid illness and injuries, visiting the chiropractor can help you protect your health by:
Easing the Pain of Winter Injuries
Although many people become less active during the winter months, a surprising number of injuries occur when it's cold outside. In fact, more than 20,000 workers were injured in one year due to snow, sleet, or ice, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Unfortunately, weather-related injuries are just as likely to happen during your free time, particularly if you enjoy winter sports. Skiing, sledding, snow tubing, snowboarding, ice skating, and hockey all share one thing in common: speed. The faster you move, the more likely you'll hurt yourself if you fall.
During the winter, even venturing outside your front door can be hazardous. Slipping on an icy sidewalk or overdoing it while shoveling snow can lead to sprains or strains and may even cause misalignments in your spine.
Chiropractic eases pain and stiffness in your muscles, tissues, and joints, and reduces inflammation naturally. Your chiropractor uses several techniques designed to treat pain, including spinal manipulation (commonly called adjustments), massage, soft tissue mobilization, and ultrasound therapy.
Lowering Your Risk of Injuries
Your spine supports the weight of your body, protects your spinal cord, and makes it easy to move, walk, and bend. During an injury, one or more of the vertebrae that make up the spine may move out of alignment. Misalignments, or subluxations, press on nerves, triggering pain, or pull on muscles, creating imbalances that may make one side of your body weaker than the other. When muscles and joints are weak, it's easier to lose your balance when you're zooming down the slopes or simply trying to avoid slipping on a patch of ice.
A subluxation can also affect your balance or make it harder to keep a firm grip on your ski poles. Luckily, spinal manipulation, a common chiropractic treatment, can help improve balance and grip strength. Brazilian researchers who examined the effects of spinal manipulation on grip strength in judo athletes discovered that strength improved by as much as 17 percent after the treatments.
During spinal manipulation, your chiropractor realigns the vertebrae in your spine using his or her hands or a small device called an activator. Once your spine is properly aligned, muscle tension, a key factor in imbalances, decreases. Visiting the chiropractor for adjustments, even if you don't notice any symptoms, corrects imbalances and subluxations that could cause falls or injuries.
If getting in shape or trying a new sport was one of your New Year's resolutions, you'll want to schedule a visit with the chiropractor before you begin your new fitness routine.
Helping You Stay Healthier
Although it's impossible to completely prevent illness, chiropractic treatment might help you avoid winter colds and other sicknesses. If out-of-place vertebrae press on nerves essential for immune system functioning, it may be harder for your body to find and kill germs. Regular adjustments correct misalignments before they can cause pain or affect your immune system.
Chiropractic treatments also decrease inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many diseases and conditions, including heart disease, asthma, allergies, arthritis and bowel diseases, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Chiropractic helps you stay healthy year-round. If you're ready to make a winter appointment, get in touch with our office.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Ice, Sleet, and Snow-Related Occupational Injury and Illness Rate Down in 2017, 3/4/2019
PubMed: Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics: Effect of Cervical Spine Manipulation on Judo Athletes' Grip Strength, 1/12
Harvard Health Publishing: Understanding Acute and Chronic Inflammation, 4/1/2020
National University of Health Sciences: Everything You need to Know About Chiropractic Medicine for Athletes, 6/12/2020