Every part of nature is amazingly beautiful. We are always excited to experience and sometimes watch how the rain falls, the snow stacks, and the sun rises and sets. While nature is beautiful and something all should experience, it’s also imperative to be mindful of some of the safety precautions for injury prevention, especially when snowshoeing and in cold weather.
Below is some general information on snowshoeing’s impact and safety tips to protect the body from injury, especially your back. However, you can also visit your local chiropractor to gain more information.
What is Snowshoeing?
In Alaska, there is something many of us like to do, and it’s called snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is a form of low aerobic exercise that incorporates hiking, walking, or even running if that’s what you prefer to do.
Some forms of engagement categorize it as a type of sport, and as a chiropractor serving Alaska, I see many clients that snowshoe each year.
Additionally, there are options to snowshoe on trails. You can go off-trail, walk many miles at a time, or run and race through the woods competing. It’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into before you engage, no matter how you go about venturing into this activity.
Is Snowshoeing Dangerous?
Like any activity that we as humans have the luxury of engaging in, there are always risks. Thus, sometimes individual sports, forms of exercise, or activities, including snowshoeing, can cause harm or injuries if we aren’t mindful of the cautions.
While snowshoeing isn’t considered dangerous per se, there are some tips I can supply as a chiropractor for injury prevention and let you in on just what to expect on your adventure.
Can Snowshoeing Hurt My Wrists?
The hands and wrists generally tend to be affected when snowshoeing. Chiropractic care is known for treating spines and all things spine-related, but it’s beneficial to know that we also treat pain and trauma that come upon other parts of the body, such as the hands and wrists.
When snowshoeing, you have the option to use poles, which further activate and call on the hands, wrists, and arms to cooperate. However, it can be stressful holding poles for miles at a time, especially when they aren’t necessarily straight throughout the length of that timeframe.
The muscles, ligaments, and bones beneath can grow tired and strained depending on how much and how long you snowshoe, whether chiropractic care is an option you choose or not. Without proper stretching and handling of those sensitive areas of the body, injuries are more likely to occur.
Can Snowshoeing Hurt My Back?
Snowshoeing can indeed bring strain to the back, which can then cause pain. Some of the most common snow sports injuries include but aren’t limited to:
According to OrthoInfo, there are some tips one can take to help prevent some of these injuries from occurring.
Always wear the appropriate gear
Check the weather forecast for storms and abnormal weather, including avalanche risk
Engage in winter sports, including snowshoeing, in groups, never alone
If your body is tired, don’t overextend yourself. Make sure you heed to the need for rest and replenishing. Injuries often occur due to pushing the body too far and sometimes too fast.
Maintain exercise outside of the sport, ensuring that the rest of the body is strong enough to endure whatever you’re taking the body through.
Learn the rules and etiquette to whatever the sport and be sure to take heed to all of them
Wear the appropriate dress code and plenty of layers. Laying will ensure that the body doesn’t grow stiff, is warm, and the muscles are as relaxed as can be to move and operate as needed freely. Stiff muscles lead to torn muscles when used without the proper warming and stretching of the body when engaging in such exercise.
Stay hydrated, especially during your engagement
Following these tips will help with injury prevention while out snowshoeing. However, if you’re already injured, actively recovering from a previous injury, or if you do get injured, there is always help and healing in the form of chiropractic care that your local chiropractor can provide.
What Are Some Ways to Prevent Pain?
The health of your back and spine is key to a healthy body and a healthy life. When snowshoeing, you need to know how to help prevent any long-term damage done to the back. Some injury prevention tips to use when snowshoeing include:
Take breaks every half a mile to a mile
Stretch before you begin walking/hiking/competing
Maintain proper posture and do not slouch
Choose the slopes wisely and always consider your health before taking certain risks
In case of falling be sure you know how to approach the ground in a safe way
With or without poles, it’s easy to slouch when tired or if carrying extra weight and equipment. Thus, it’s essential to maintain proper posture. Neglecting to maintain a proper posture could bring about an injury. The more the back is slouched, and the spine is out of alignment, the higher the chance you have of bringing extra strain to the back.
In addition to posture, it’s essential to be mindful of the weather, which can play a role in some injuries. Some falls can occur when hiking in the snow or ice, and sometimes those falls entail injuries where you’re unable to get right back up. Furthermore, a fall can mean your gear gets wet, your gloves come off, and your body experiences stress, which can result in frostbite, hypothermia, and beyond.
Whether you fall and trip or fall due to an ankle twist or shoulder dislocation, pay attention, and be sure you follow the tips given for injury prevention to protect your body while snowshoeing.
Read More: How To Prevent Ankle Pain Before Snowshoeing
Your safety while snowshoeing is important. Before you engage in snowshoeing, please be sure you see a chiropractor and receive any treatment that could benefit you. Begin with a properly aligned spine and know the tools to better maintain good posture and prevent injuries, whether you’re at home or in the snow.
Read More: Top 5 Safety Tips While Snowshoeing