A: As we get ready to trade in snow shovels for gardening spades and baseball bats, winter-related injuries will take a back seat to springtime activities and injuries. Running, youth sports, golfing and even gardening are the outdoor activities that commonly result in injuries, many of which can be prevented by following some simple guidelines. It’s best to start off slowly when getting back into any sport and build from there. Conserve your energy, know your limits and take breaks as necessary.
Take care when lifting, bending and walking. Whether lifting golf bags or planting flowers, bend with your knees and lift with your legs. If your knees are troubling you while gardening, use a small bench to sit on rather than kneeling. On the golf course, distribute your load with a golf bag that has a two-sided shoulder strap. These minimize the chances of painful shoulder and back injuries. Watch your step on golf courses with rough terrain — one man’s divot is another man’s twisted knee.
As always, stretch. Warming up your muscles before exercising is the best way to avoid injuries such as muscle pulls and strains. At least 10 to 15 minutes of stretching is recommended.
Before participating in any sport or activity, a chiropractic assessment of the feet and spine is recommended. Those with spinal alignment or foot arch issues can do permanent damage to their body if they do not get those underlying problems addressed prior to starting the activity.
Information provided by Jefferson Family Chiropractic, 216 N. Wilson Ave., 515-386-3747.