This is certainly a good old fashioned Minnesota winter; lots of snow, ice and cold weather. Well, at least the people who ride snowmobile, ice fish, and ski will be happy. The problem with a winter like this, it can cause many back and neck injuries.
BACK PAIN FROM SNOW SHOVELING
We have many patients who come to our clinic seeking treatment for injuries from shoveling snow. Most often the injury is in the low back or hips. Lifting a shovel filled with snow, especially heavy wet snow is very hard on the spine. Bending and twisting to toss a shovel full of snow puts a lot of torque and stress on the spinal vertebrae. This often causes a vertebra to slip out of alignment and pinch a nerve. The vertebrae in the low back, mid back, and neck can all become misaligned and pinch a nerve. Even the pelvic bones, or hip bones, can get out of alignment and pinch a nerve. Chiropractors call a misaligned vertebra pinching a nerve a subluxation. If you have pain in the center of your low back you most likely have a bottom lumbar vertebra out of place, or L5. If you have pain in the hip, your pelvis is probably out of alignment. If you have upper back pain or neck pain, you probably have a thoracic or cervical vertebra out of alignment.
INJURIES FROM FALLING ON THE ICE
Slipping and falling in the winter can cause injuries to the spine, shoulders, wrists, and knees. A fall on the hip can cause a misalignment of the ilium or pelvic bone. When you land, the neck can be whiplashed forward, and this can cause a pinched nerve in the neck. The low back and mid back can also be injured in a fall on the ice. Injury can also come from trying to catch yourself before you fall. When you think you are falling, the body often jerks quickly to try to catch itself. This jerking reaction can also cause a misaligned vertebra and a pinched nerve.
If you are involved in an automobile collision, the spine can experience a whiplash injury. When cars crash, the neck and spine can be whipped forward and backward causing the vertebrae to become misaligned and pinch nerves. The spinal ligaments can be stretched and torn in a bad whiplash injury.
How can a Chiropractor help? With an adjustment! An adjustment is a gentle procedure designed to re-align the misaligned vertebra and remove the nerve pressure. It will fix the pinched nerve and get rid of the pain. If you have injuries to your shoulder, wrist or knee, Chiropractors are trained to adjust those areas as well. When a new patient comes to our clinic, we first do a health history; we ask about all your aches and pains. We then do a thorough examination of your spine and nerves. We often take an X-ray. We then study all of the findings and give you an adjustment. If you have pain in your back, hip, neck, knee, shoulder, wrist, even headaches, Chiropractic can help.