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Staying Healthy During The Winter Months


As a Canadian, I am all too familiar with cold, snowy winter months. Some speculate that Canadians have special powers against the cold. Be that as it may, what makes us successful is being skilled in preparation during those cold, frigid days.

Unlike Canada, Kansas/Missouri has a tendency toward a mixture of cold temperatures one day and warm the next; some days cool, others freezing rain, and other days a tepid 80 degrees. Routinely we walk out of the door baffled at what mother nature is going to grace us with with that day, and are ill-prepared for the temperature.

As a chiropractor, the winter months tend to bring a familiar set of injuries into the office. Just as flip flop season causes an uproar in shin splints and plantar fasciitis, the winter months expose its fair share of ailments. Numbers in neck spasms, tension headaches, shoulder pain, TMJ syndrome and injuries of the like seem to increase during those cold winter months.

With the decrease in temperatures, the body intelligently sets off a series of warming tricks to to keep our core temperature stable. Shivering, which initiates activation of the muscles in the body to create warmth, and elevation of the traps to keep the neck and shoulders warm cause increased use of the muscles of the neck, shoulders and upper back. If you are heading into training with muscles that have been in overdrive much of the day, the likelihood of fatigue leading to injury is much higher.