Every season brings unique opportunities and challenges. Winter is no exception to this rule, especially if you live someplace where the cold season is robust. Outdoor recreation changes dramatically, and many people look forward to it with anticipation. With snow all over the ground, things like skiing, skating and snowmobiling become possible. And great numbers head outside, despite the cold, to take advantage.
There are also a number of health concerns during the winter months, not the least of which are cold and flu viruses, which tend to circulate in waves. Many people are kept home from work and school by these illnesses. Fortunately, they tend to be mild, and before you know it, they’ve run their course.
There are other medical concerns brought by winter, and these don’t get quite as much press. The presence of ice and slush on roads and sidewalks creates a whole lot of mishaps and accidents, both on foot and in vehicles. And the outcome is often some type of injury to the back, or misalignment of the spine.
Whiplash is increasingly common during winter months, since it usually happens when drivers are “rear-ended” by other drivers who are unable to stop on the slippery roads. The impact causes the head to jolt suddenly backwards and then forwards again, which can create significant and lasting injuries to the cervical spine. There are plenty of people out there who have experienced a severe case of whiplash, and do feel that their symptoms never quite disappeared.
Slipping and falling on walkways, sidewalks or streets is another common occurrence during the winter. This can lead to similar injuries, although the problem is usually lower down in the spine. An injury might take place that doesn’t really seem very serious at all, but symptoms tend to linger as the weeks pass, and other areas of the body might be affected by spinal misalignments.
The other thing that doesn’t get covered enough by the media is what people can do to address these problems. Obviously, the first thing you want to do for any serious injury is visit your urgent care center or primary care provider — or in cases that could be life-threatening, the emergency room. But often times, the doctor will not recommend any specific treatment. In some cases, if symptoms persist over time, drugs or surgery might be recommended. This may sound appealing, but it rarely solves the underlying problem as you think it might.
Chiropractics stands alone as a drug-free, surgery-free way to correct spinal imbalances that result from winter injuries, whether those injuries took place during the course of recreation (skiing and skating often lead to spinal misalignments) or daily routines (car accidents, slips, and so forth).
That’s not to say that chiropractic treatment is guaranteed to work — but the fact is, growing documentation suggests that millions of people find effective relief from their spine-related symptoms with the help of a certified, reputable chiropractor. So the next time you or someone you know has a winter mishap that leads to back problems, keep your local chiropractors in mind!