Walkies and Gyms are the biggest cause of injuries over Christmas and the New Year”
The British Osteopathic Association (BOA) has warned that the rush to get started on New Year fitness resolutions, fuelled by the desire to tackle post-Christmas waist lines, leads to a 20% increase in the number of people visiting their osteopaths for treatment in January. The extended Christmas and New Year holiday period often leads to people spending more time on leisure activities such as getting fit, but this in turn can have unexpected consequences.
Gyms up and down the country will see an increase in the number of over-enthusiastic members who risk pulling muscles or creating longer-term complaints, such as soft-tissue damage and joint injuries. The main reason for gym injuries is trying to do too much too quickly, especially on machines designed to improve the “abs” and lateral muscles.
Abdominal exercises which affect the abdominal (or stomach) muscles can add pressure to the lumbar spine, putting additional stress on the lower back. In addition, intense abdominal exercise can cause respiratory problems by straining the chest.
A second reason for the increase in joint and muscle injuries in January is the number of people taking up fitness programmes that include walking the dog or brisk country walks and underestimating the risk from their environment during the winter months.
BOA Member Paul Ashburner from Bakewell says:
“People – especially the middle-aged and the slightly unfit – deciding to take brisk walks in the countryside with their dogs and not realising how slippery wet leaves can be and the dangers of hidden roots and branches lying hidden.”
“Walking is an excellent way of keeping fit and I often recommend that my regular patients take up dog walking if they want an incentive to get out and about, whatever the weather. However, people unused to exercise do need to be careful when they’re away from the pavements and walking in the dark.”
How to avoid winter injuries
If you acquire any strains or injuries, that persist more than a day or so, then seeking early treatment from your osteopath can avoid long term suffering.
Article issued by the British Osteopathic Association
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