Where I grew up in Virginia, January, February, and March meant possible snow days—days off from school. Those days were full of fun playing in the snow. My family’s house perched on the top of a hill so our front yard was a slope. One time, we created a tunnel under the snow from atop the front porch to the sidewalk, burrowing down the slope like insulated groundhogs in our puffy snow gear. As I got older, I started snowboarding and used the slope to learn before going to the real ski slopes. For kids, snow days were nothing but fun.
I rented apartments in Maryland, where I went to college, and then in Marietta, GA, where I went to Chiropractic school. In both states, shoveling snow wasn’t necessary. The apartment complexes had maintenance crews to do the work. In Georgia, we had ice, but not much snow. Here in Abingdon living in a house, shoveling is a requirement if I want to get my car up the incline to the street, and I don’t have four-wheel drive.
Shoveling snow is one of winter’s greatest hazards to the adult back. But it is not just the shoveling. It is the dysfunction that has been acquired over the years that caused the back injury during shoveling. This goes for many other types of injuries such as lifting, picking things up, doing manual labor or anything like that. The nervous system coordinates all of these different fine and large movements. An example of this type of movement would be our walking gait pattern. We just had our gait presentation this past weekend at Iron Mountain CrossFit where I demonstrated how the nervous system controls this specific pattern. It was exciting for me to see how everyone enjoyed the event and realized how the body is so interconnected such as when we saw that the head, neck and even jaw were involved in having proper walking gait pattern. In addition to gait, there are many different movement patterns that need to be functioning properly that we use everyday, such as the squat and lunge. If one or all of these movement patterns are not functioning this transfers pressure on the surrounding muscles and joints. Eventually after time goes by they break down from the improper use and in that moment shoveling you get that back injury. This is usually an event in the making, just like it wasn’t the Hardees someone ate last night that caused the heart disease. This is all about prevention! Just like you shouldn’t wait until the heart attack happens to do something, you should not wait until an injury happens. I know it sounds easy to say, but if you don’t know what to do about it, how can you do anything?
Make sure you get your nervous system and movement patterns checked so you can function at your best. If this is new to you, if you are still on the fence, or if you are a visual learner, we demonstrate this every week at our office. You are welcome to come learn about this amazing way to become healthy and function optimally. Just give us a call and we will reserve your seat.