Let’s talk about injury prevention. From previous posts you know that stretching before exercise or activity does not decrease your likelihood of injury. That is, stretching your hamstrings does not prevent a hamstring pull during a sprint. With that being said, what can you do to prevent injury? Very simply put, you can warm up before you dive into action.
Jogging before a 100 meter sprint seems obvious, but what would one do before working in the garden? Its unlikely many would be willing to run around the block, but organizing your work so that you can start with the less physically intense activities first will likely raise your body temperature sufficiently. Less intense activity will provide a sufficient “warm up” so you will be better able to handle more difficult tasks such as pushing a wheel barrow or carrying sod.
Still not convinced? Here are a few of the more important reasons to warm up before physical activity. Increased body temperature increases elasticity of the muscles and tendons which will make muscle pulls or strains less likely and increase range of motion. Also, increasing temperature of skeletal muscles makes energy producing processes more active and thus makes your muscles more efficient, quicker to contract and relax. Faster muscle reaction is particularly important for proper stabilization of your lower back during lifting.
Keep these factors in mind this weekend and have healthy back!
Bryan M. Steele, DC
O’Leary Chiropractic, PLLC