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HEALTHBEAT 4: Keeping your back healthy in the winter

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chiropractic care winter

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Winter brings a lot of snow days. Often the first few snowfalls can be wet and heavy, making it harder to scoop the snow, and putting a strain on your back.

"The longer you wait, the more it's going to take to get you back to where you need to be," said Chris Laures, a chiropractor for Heartland Chiropractic.

Scooping, shoveling, scraping. They're all things we do during the winter months. But, with that can come back issues.

"You want to be addressing these issues sooner rather than later," said Laures. "If you let it continue to fester, it can build into something that becomes a bigger issue down the road, more severe arthritis, disk injuries that have gone unresolved, creating more pain down the road."

Laures said a common injury they see in the winter months is sprained strains.

"Where they are lifting the heavy snow, especially in these first handfuls of snows that we see, they tend to be a little more wet, so they're a little heavier," said Laures.

He said when patients first come in they will assess them, then go through the treatment protocols.

"Adjusting them, doing whatever treatment therapies might be necessary to help them get better as quickly as possible and then giving them some home exercises, or homework I should say to try and help get them better as quickly as possible," said Laures.

But just because your pain goes away doesn't mean your body has completely healed.

"So patients might go back and start overdoing things and creating more problems in their lower back because they haven't addressed the injury the way they need to," said Laures.

And not addressing it can impact your quality of life.

"Affecting your day to day life, your quality of life of what you are able to do," said Laures. "It makes it that much more difficult just to walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water. It makes it that much more difficult just to sit at work."

So Laures said addressing it as soon as possible is what's best for your overall health.

Laures said it takes sprained strains about 6 to 8 weeks to completely heal. But patients spend about half of that in pain. That's why he said if you notice pain while out in the snow, address it right away.

Michaela Feldmann

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