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Taking Care in Winter Weather

winter_care_exercise

Regular Chiropractic Care and Winter Safety

Winter safety is a matter of great importance. Slipping and sliding on snow and ice can result in falls and unwanted trips to the local emergency room. Even in warmer climates, adjustment to winter conditions is necessary, as joints, muscles, and tendons are slower to warm up and more subject to sprains and strains. Regular chiropractic care provides significant benefit year-round but is especially important during the winter months.

By detecting and correcting spinal misalignments, regular chiropractic care helps make your nerve system much smarter. When your nerve system is working at optimal capacity, all your body's systems are able to respond rapidly to changes in the environment. For example, with such peak function, if you start to slip or slide in wintry conditions your ankles, knees, hips, and low back all respond quickly to help prevent a fall. By assisting our bodies to become smarter, regular chiropractic care helps us enjoy a safe and fun-filled winter season.

The onset of winter does not signal the end of exercise and outdoors activities. There's plenty of skiing and snowboarding available in the Northeast, the American Rockies, across Canada, and even in Southern California. For those who like their exercise with less dramatic velocity and acceleration, walking and running continue to be possible in winter. The key to successful exercise throughout the winter, beyond the will power required to just get out there and do it, is an extra level of care and attention to what's going on around us and directly in front of us.

In the urban environment, the primary problem from late November through March is slippery sidewalks and roads. If you're not cautious, you might step on a hidden patch of ice and end up on the ground. This is true even in Southern states such as Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, where winter snowstorms are not uncommon. If you're exercising outdoors and have some momentum going, a slip and fall may have serious consequences including strains, sprains, and fractures.1

The first step in preparing for these winter challenges is appropriate footgear. Old walking or running shoes that have lost most of their tread should be avoided.2 Your footgear should fit comfortably and be able to accommodate thicker socks without being tight and constricting.

The next step is to create additional input and stimulation to your body's proprioceptive system, which is made up of specialized nerve endings that give you awareness of your position in three-dimensional space. Enhanced function here leads to improved agility and balance.3 One way to augment this system is to put a bend in your knees when you expect to encounter slippery surfaces. The increased knee flexion provides for a greater range of musculoskeletal responses to sudden changes in the environment, in this case, the ground you're walking or running on.

A third step is to raise your level of awareness. You might be firm and sure on your legs but others may not be so steady. Pedestrians or runners may slide into you, as may bicyclists and skateboarders. It's especially important when crossing intersections to be aware of automobiles and trucks which may not brake as expected and represent substantial dangers.

Finally, remember that the winter air, when it's not snowing, is especially dry and your body will leak moisture into the atmosphere. Drinking a full six to eight glasses of water every day will effectively counter this silent phenomenon of dehydration. Having undertaken these few precautions and preparations, you're ready for a winter full of activity, exercise, and outdoors fun. 


1. Gianoudis J, et al: Effects of a targeted multimodal exercise program incorporating high-speed power training on falls and fracture risk factors in older adults: a community-based randomized controlled trial. J Bone Miner Res 29(1):182-191, 2014

2. Hsu J, et al: Slip resistance of winter footwear on snow and ice measured using maximum achievable incline. Ergonomics 59(5):717-728, 2016

3. Halvarsson A, et al: "Better safe than sorry": a qualitative content analysis of participant's perspectives of fall-related concerns and balance in older women with osteoporosis after balance training. Disabil Rehabil 3:1-7, 2015

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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

    ~Amy Hawker
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

    ~Patsy Dimond-Spencer
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig
     Fenton, MI

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan
     Fenton, MI

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!

    ~Nancy Matson
     Fenton, MI

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle
     Fenton, MI

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs
     Fenton, MI

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

    ~A.H.
     Fenton, MI

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