Where Chicago's Athletes Get Adjusted     We're Open: Read our COVID-19 Update here
Schedule your initial consultation today!   773.868.0347

4 – Spinal Care Tips & Exercises to Keep Your Back Healthy This Chicago Winter

 Winter is on the way, and while we may be leaving behind warm weather and sunny skies, it’s crucial that we don’t forget to prepare ourselves for the cold and all that it brings. During this time of the year, our bodies are constantly put to the test, whether it be when doing activities or chores around the house, playing alongside the kids in the snow, or just how the body reacts to the cold, it is essential that we do whatever it takes to ensure the back stays happy and healthy during the frigid temperatures.

Spinal Care Tips & Exercises to Keep Your Back Healthy This Chicago Winter

Use Proper Body Mechanics

Chicago Spinal Care Tips

Harsh Illinois winters bring snow and a lot of it! That’s right, returning to the unwanted chore of leaving the house and shoveling. But you need to think more before you pick up that shovel. Here are some statistics to think about:

So, what do you need for an injury-free time shoveling snow? Let’s grab a warm jacket, snow pants, gloves, boots with a good grip, and most importantly, practice excellent movement mechanics. Shoveling requires you to bend, lift, and constantly twist, putting your back at risk of strains and herniated discs. Always remember to:

  1. Push rather than lift as much as possible
  2. Try not to throw the snow, instead, walk to where you want to put it
  3. Bend with your knees and hips
  4. Do not use your back to lift; rely on your legs to do the grunt work

Exercises that are beneficial before shoveling are:

  • Lower trunk rotations – Lay down and keep both knees bent, letting your knees fall side to side nice and easy.
  • Knee to chest – While laying down, one knee stays bent and the other leg lays flat on the ground. Pull your knee as far as you can to your chest and hold it for 45-60 seconds, and then switch legs.
  • Squats – Since you will be lifting and pushing using your legs, perform 10 to 20 squats to loosen them up.

Continue Your Physical Activity

Healthy Spine Care Tips Winter

The cold weather makes it less accessible to complete your daily exercise routine, especially if you prefer outside or home workouts over going to the gym. But, our expert team of chiropractors cannot stress enough the importance of staying active during the cold months. Being inactive is one of the leading causes and risk factors of spinal pain. Finding a way to stay active will boost your immune system, improve blood circulation, and help your muscles from becoming vulnerable. Whether it be shoveling snow and cleaning the roof or activities such as skiing and snowboarding, keeping active will ensure that you are healthy throughout the entire season.

Home exercises that are easy to perform are:

  • Burpees – While they may not be everyone’s favorite thing to do, they are a part of a full-body workout. Burpees allow you to work many different parts of the body, keeping you fit and active.
  • Sit-ups – A strong abdomen is an essential part of your physical well-being when performing daily activities.
  • Jogging in place – It may not be anything like running through the beautiful Illinois landscape, but it helps you remain up to date with your cardio allowing you to have more energy.

Keep Warm

We know that it may seem a bit obvious, but we are often underdressed to face the cold Illinois weather when we leave the house. Little do people know, but cold weather negatively affects the spine and neck, causing horrible pain and often leaving those suffering unable to get up in the morning and perform their day-to-day responsibilities. The reason for the discomfort strains from the muscles, ligaments, and tendons is tightening in response to the drop in temperatures. While we often hate taking a day off, it may be necessary. Patients who try to fight through the pain are often the victims of a more serious injury. So make sure to wear plenty of layers on your legs, torso, hands, and arms while also covering up your neck, face, and head.

When you are out in the cold, you can do these to help your body remain warm and limber:

  • Neck Turns – To mobilize the spine and neck while you’re out, stop and do some neck turns. Carefully shake your head “no” from side to side, then shake your head “yes,” looking up and down.
  • Hip Hinges – Do you remember this stretch that you always used to do in gym class or warmups before playing a game? While standing up straight, bend at the waist (do not round your back), push your hips out, and reach for your toes.

See a Chicago Doctor of Chiropractic Regularly, Especially When Your Spine Is Bothering You

Professional Chicago Chiropractor

As a community-focused chiropractic clinic in Chicago, we know better than most how essential it is to focus on your health during this season. For that reason, we cannot stress enough to our patients that when they feel even the slightest bit of fatigue, they see an expert right away. Not only will you feel better, but it will save you from even more excruciating and debilitating discomfort in the future.

At Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we work with each of our patients individually, using innovative techniques to properly stretch and liberate the spinal system. Some of our most groundbreaking chiropractic treatments include:

Ensure Your Spine is in the Best Shape this Winter and Contact Advanced Spine & Sports Care

Preventing and treating spinal pain in patients of all ages is our specialty, and with decades of experience doing it, we are the clinic to call in Chicago and the Chicagoland area. Discomfort in your back is never a joke and will keep you from functioning properly, outlining how crucial it is to seek immediate assistance even if you just tweak your back a little bit. Stay safe, practice these helpful tips, and contact Advanced Spine & Sports Care!


Benefits of Spinal Care for the Whole Body



Spinal Care for the Whole Body

Although visiting a chiropractor for spinal care can help to reduce or eliminate back pain, it also offers a host of other benefits for your entire body. Your central nervous system is responsible for connecting the systems of your body, enabling communication between them. If your spine is misaligned or damaged, your nervous system suffers too.

Your body will no longer be able to facilitate its own healing effectively, and this increases the chances of injuries, illnesses and pain. Good chiropractic spinal care can determine the underlying causes of the issues that you experience and treat those problems so you can find relief.

The Anatomy Of The Spine

The spine’s anatomy can be divided into three sections – the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spinal regions. Each of those sections is composed of vertebrae, with 7 in the cervical region, 12 in the thoracic region and 5 in the lumbar region.

Each individual vertebra is also composed of a number of parts. The vertebra’s body is the key area for weight bearing. It also supplies a place for the discs that separate the vertebrae from each other to rest on. The spinal canal is a hole in the vertebra’s center and the spinal nerves run through this hole. It is covered by the lamina. 

Spinal Vertebra, Joints & Disks

The bone you’re able to feel when you run your hand down your back is the spinous process while you’ll find the paired transverse processes oriented at a 90-degree angle to it. This is where the back muscles are attached. Each vertebra also has 4 facet joints – one pair facing upwards and another pair facing downwards – which give the spine extra stability.

Between each vertebra, there is a disc. This acts as a cushion between the bones and is composed of two separate parts – the annulus or outer hard layer and the nucleus which is the moist center.

Spinal Cord Nerve Connections

The spinal cord contains millions of nerve fibers running through the spinal canal. Extending from the brain down to the lumbar vertebrae, it branches out in groups of fibers which form the nerves which go through to your body’s lower half.

  1. Nerves of the cervical spine area connect to the arms and upper chest.
  2. Nerves of the thoracic spine area connect with the abdomen and chest.
  3. Nerves of the lumbar spine area connect with the bladder, bowel and legs.

The nerve fibers branch off, forming pairs of nerve roots which travel through small openings between the vertebrae. The nerves of every part of the spinal cord are connected to different body parts. This explains why spinal cord damage causes paralysis to certain areas but not others.

Pinched Nerve Treatment Options

The nerves carry impulses from the brain to the body and back again. This enables us to move and to experience sensations. However, nerves may become compressed. This means they cannot function properly. The result can be pain, numbness, tingling or altered sensations.

There are several causes of pinched nerves. Bulging discs are one common cause along with compression by bones or tight muscles. There are several forms of treatment for pinched nerves. Pain relief or anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful as may physiotherapy, massage or osteopathy chiropractic treatment is often the best solution.

Vertebral Subluxation Chiropractic Treatment

If the spine is misaligned, physiological functions and movement integrity are compromised. This is known as vertebral subluxation. There are a number of causes for this condition from car accidents and improper lifting to living a sedentary lifestyle and poor posture.

When the vertebrae lose their healthy position or motion, a number of health issues can arise. A skilled chiropractor can detect vertebral subluxation and address it. By offering spinal decompression and chiropractic adjustments we can help to relieve pain and symptoms.

Spinal Treatments for Peak Athletic Performance & Overall Health

Both professional and amateur athletes can benefit greatly from regular chiropractic care. As chiropractic treatment is effective, safe and non-evasive, it represents an excellent way for athletes at all levels to continue playing sports at their peak level of performance. In fact, having regular chiropractic treatments can maximize your musculoskeletal performance and prevent injuries, while also helping to better manage any existing injuries.

By having consistent chiropractic adjustments before a sporting event or an important game, athletes can be confident they will enjoy a complete range of movement in all their joints with no resistance. This can help give them an edge over their competitors in the competitive sporting arena.

Those who participate in a diverse range of sports can benefit from chiropractic. From tennis and racing to biking and soccer, chiropractic care can keep athletes playing and prevent a minor injury from getting out of hand.

For those who have already suffered from a sports injury, having a chiropractic checkup is especially important to detect any damage in the spine and to minimize any further complications.

Here at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we provide a comprehensive range of sports chiropractic treatment services & corrective exercise plans to suit the needs of all types of athlete. We can also treat an extensive range of sports injuries, from those caused by contact sports such as football, hockey and mixed martial arts to those caused as a result of overexertion at the gym from excess weightlifting.

Advanced Spine & Sports Care – Sports Injuries We Treat

Read More