Back Care in Winter

It was easy to choose this weeks blog topic as so many people at the moment are suffering with injuries/pains resulting from the cooler weather. You may have noticed that you tend to get more aches and pains in winter. Now as a fitness instructor I always ensure we get a good safe warm up before we exercise. I also remind people that on the ‘cool down’ it’s important to not get cold. Why? well because our muscles don’t like it, it makes them tight. The tightness increases the chance of injury as well as causing pain and discomfort.

I am more likely to injure myself in my sleep than I am doing my toughest workout MokyX. Sounds ridiculous but very true and will likely apply to you too. When we exercise we increase our blood flow to the muscles, tendons and ligaments which warms them and prevents them being stiff and therefore less predisposed to injury.

Now compare that, to when we sleep. We don’t move, so our muscles get tight. Then add in winter temperatures, it’s much cooler and don’t our muscles know it? All it takes is for us to turn over in bed and the already stiff back muscles can really tighten up and cause pain. Same when we get out of bed or any other sudden movement in the morning before we are fully warmed up (Putting on socks, shoes, picking something up from the floor).

So what precautions can we take to avoid injury and pain?

If you have a heating system that kicks in below a certain temp, use it! Yes it costs money to heat while you sleep but when you’re in agonising back pain for days or even weeks you’ll wish you did. Wear PJ’s and tuck your top into your pants so the warm air can stay trapped, protecting your back muscles. Use a heated blanket/hot water bottle/wheat pack if you can. Keep an eye on the weather forecast for night time temperatures so you can be prepared. It can easily catch us out, especially with our British climate

Adapting Daily activities for good Back Care

Putting on socks and shoes is a common way to hurt our back in winter. Try putting your shoes on without leaning forwards. Sit down and bring your knee up to your chest and rest your foot on the seat. For socks use your bed. Lie back on your bed and bring your legs up towards your chest and put your socks on without lifting your back up from the bed. It’s so much less strain on the back and can prevent so much pain.

Don’t bend over to reach the floor for things. Instead of bending imagine just dropping your tailbone to the floor in a straight line down, bend both knees and don’t lean forwards.

Set your heating on a timer so it’s warm in any rooms you are in first thing in the morning.

Generally try to be more conscious of the temperature so you are well prepared and dressed for it. Wear layers when going out in the cold. Keep your back extra snug (tuck in your tops, wear a vest or bodysuit)

And if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of considerable pain from a tight/stiff back look after it. Take pain relief right away, don’t be a martyr, the pain relief will mean you aren’t making the problem worse by holding yourself more stiffly. Try to keep warm and use heat on your back to help the blood flow and reduce tightness. Avoid bending and lifting but do keep mobile. Sitting or lying will not help a stiff back. Gentle walks will help loosen it. I even did my morning Zest today after waking up in agony from turning over in bed last night. It sorted me out! The stiffness has eased up considerably, I’m not bending though, the kids and Mat will have to do all the housework this weekend! 😂

I will be doing a back care session for so subscribers please look out for that.

Thanks for reading and please leave some feedback, I’d like my blog to be interactive so I can be as helpful as possible 😊