Autumn can be a wonderful time of year, yet there can also be unexpected problems. Sudden drops in temperature causing us to bundle up in lots of layers, which we then struggle to peel off when the sun briefly pops out again! As the leaves start to drop, they can make the pavements slippy. If you are gardening and raking up these leaves, this can also cause problems with shoulders and backs unaccustomed to these repeated one-sided movements.
Autumn back care tips
Some good tips for caring for your back during the autumn include:
- Warming up before any activity. This doesn’t just mean throwing on an extra jumper and downing a bowl of hot soup! Whether you are heading out for a walk, going for a run or stacking logs ready for winter, do some simple stretches first. The gentle movement will help get the blood flowing to your muscles and decrease the risk of you hurting yourself once you start the activity.
- If you are working outdoors, use tools to help. Rather than carry heavy objects to and fro, invest in a good wheelbarrow or garden trolley. If you’re collecting bags of apples or blackberries, distribute the weight evenly either side of your body, or use a comfortable rucksack!
- Wear sensible footwear appropriate for what you are doing. Slipping on wet autumn leaves can lead to serious injury! However, wellies may not be suitable for a long walk over rough terrain, as they can restrict ankle movement. Look at hiking boots, trail running shoes and other options that will keep your feet both dry and comfortable.
- Choose clothing wisely! Wearing too many layers can restrict your movement, meaning you have to compensate or put strain elsewhere. Not wearing enough layers and getting cold can make your muscles stiff, which often means your back will feel worse.
- Take regular breaks. It may be tempting to do all your outdoor work in one go so you can get inside and put your feet up. However it is usually best to do little and often. Take time to stretch, grab a cup of tea, and pace yourself.
- Those crisp mornings and all the beautiful colours of the autumn season are a great incentive to get outside in the fresh air. However the shorter days can make it harder to exercise. Therefore it’s good to plan some time into your day to move about, or start exercising indoors.
- Maintain healthy eating habits. Not only will this help you fight off any colds going round, it will keep your body in better condition. Autumn may be the perfect time for mugs of creamy hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows over the fire. However there is an abundance of filling, nutritious vegetables available at this time of year! Why not try swapping out that sugary pumpkin spice latte for a hearty bowl of butternut squash soup? Try our recipe for pearl barley and kale soup here.
What other steps can I take?
If you want more advice on caring for your back this autumn, your chiropractor or osteopath will be able to help. Why not book a visit to ensure you can enjoy the upcoming bonfires and fireworks with your back in cracking condition too?
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