Ahhh, Spring. That intoxicating time of year when everyone comes out of hibernation to squint at the sunshine and start projects, exercise routines and other outdoor activities after the long, dark, cold winter. Springtime is also when our clinic sees an awful lot of consequences of overdoing it after a sedentary winter – particularly back pain.
Spending a warm spring day planting in the garden after a long winter of not using your back can overtax your muscles, ligaments and tendons, causing your back to hurt. We are all surprised as we get older when things we used to be able to do effortlessly are now challenging or downright painful. Inactivity due to a long illness, a long winter, or even just working too much overtime to be able to get to the gym can all have the same effects on our body.
The good news is that this is largely preventable. Keeping your back healthy is much like keeping your bank account healthy. If you are consistently making deposits during the good times, then during the bad times you will be much more likely to weather the storm. If you consistently exercise and stretch your back, then when your back goes out (and it will) it will not likely be as severe or as prolonged as it could have been if you weren’t taking the time to keep it healthy.
These deposits are important during any stage of life, but become particularly critical as we start to age. The back needs exercise and activity to stave off the degenerative effects of aging and natural wear and tear.
So if you’re sore this spring after overdoing it a bit, remember next winter that exercising your back and core consistently will help to keep your back in good shape and better able to handle some time in the garden on that first warm day of spring.