It has been a very long and cold winter. With any luck, some of the temperatures will start approaching the double digits shortly and some of our patients will come out of hibernation. Whether it’s planting gardens or joining members of the Ottawa Health Group at the Ottawa Race Weekend, we hope that everyone has a chance to get outside and enjoy the weather.
On a note of caution though, this is also the time of year where chiropractors and massage therapists start seeing injuries at greater rates than most other times of the year. A large part of this is due to the fact that many Canadians remain more sedentary over the winter and then try to pick up where they left off. From our physical activities to our dietary habits, spring is often associated with change. While our bodies are quite able to adapt to these changes, they can sometimes take a few weeks or even months to become fully adapted. When we forget to prepare adequately for these changes, it’s like our bodies revolt against us. This past week, I have had at least three patients tell me that they started running 10kms in preparation for the Ottawa Race weekend with almost no gradual increase in activity. There is a very good chance that without a progressive return to fairweather activities these same three individuals will soon come in to the office with a complaint related to over-exertion.
Whether it’s running in road races, returning to outdoor sports, planting our gardens or even playing with children outside. Recognizing that you might not be in the same excellent shape that you were last fall may lead to an injury. A gradual, progressive return to activities entails starting activities that require low levels of exertion and then progressively adding greater amounts of time or strain. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of post-workout soreness so long as it is mild and not impeding any of your other daily activities. In addition to this, post workout soreness should only last a day or two at maximum. Discomfort that lasts longer or is intense enough to impede your daily activities suggests that you may be doing harm and may eventually injure yourself if you continue on this path.
If you want more information on how to return to spring activities, please contact our office so we can provide you with further information on how we can help you do so safely.