Written by Jordan Oien, DC
The seasons are changing and the hunting season is upon us. For those of you that deal with low back pain, you understand how difficult it can be not only to sit still during the hunt but also to have pain interfere with setting up or taking down equipment and retrieving our harvest. So what are some tips you can do to help minimize or prevent low back pain?
Ask for help
The number one tip for moving equipment or dragging our harvest out of the wood is to ask for help. Make a plan to have someone available to help you do the heavy lifting.
We have all heard the old saying lift with your legs, not your back. This simple rule is essential for preventing a low back flare up. Remember to keep what you are lifting close to your body and keep your chest up. Also, try to avoid and sudden motions or twisting and turning while lifting and remember to engage your core before lifting.
As a long-time deer hunter, I know that sitting still during the hunt is important for success. And if you suffer from low back pain you know how difficult it can be to sit still for long periods of time. Lack of motion is the enemy for low back pain sufferers. Here are some simple, fast and effective tips to help prevent low back pain during your hunt.
Start by doing a few simple stretches before getting into your stand. The first stretch is a simple knee to chest pull. With both hands grab around your knee and pull it to your chest, holding it for a few seconds before switching legs. Next, do some simple toe reaches which can be done by putting your foot up on your ladder and reaching toward your toes. Finally, try a variation of the toe reach. Put one foot up on the ladder and reach down toward your toes on the other foot, again holding for a few seconds before switching legs. Hold each stretch for about 6 seconds and do each stretch 10 times. In all these exercises, don’t bounce, stop before it hurts, and be sure to breathe.
While we are in the stand there are a couple things to consider. If you are in an enclosed stand and not as worried about motion a great stretch is crossing one leg over the other and leaning forward until you feel the stretch. You can also perform the seated knee to chest stretch.
If you are in an open stand a more discreet stretching activity is the alphabet stretch. Picture yourself drawing the alphabet with your tailbone on your seat, putting as much motion into your low back and pelvis as possible. This is an excellent low back mobilization activity that a person can do in the stand with less fear of spooking game.
Visit your chiropractor
Of course chiropractic care can help keep you in line and moving properly for your hunt as well.
I hope you all have a safe and successful hunting season! If you have any questions about low back pain or how chiropractic can help you during your hunt please give us a call. We have immediate access for appointments and no referral is necessary.
Jordan Oien, DC is a chiropractor for NorthLakes Community Clinic and long-time hunter. To schedule an appointment in Iron River, Ashland, Hayward, Turtle Lake, Park Falls or Hurley, please call 888.834.4551.