Headed out for a hike this week? While outdoor activities are healthy for your mind and body, if you suffer back and neck pain even a simple hike can be anything but a walk in the park. Reduce the risk of complications by preparing ahead of time. Stretching before and after your hike is a great way to avoid potential injury, stretching before your hike helps improve circulation and loosen the muscles, reducing the stress on your joints. Stretching after your hike can reduce muscle fatigue and soreness that can amplify your pain and discomfort. If you plan on bringing a backpack, make sure it fits properly, consider using one that straps around your waist and across your back to help evenly distribute the weight. Another popular hiking accessory that can be helpful for those with back pain are trekking poles. Trekking poles can help you avoid bad posture by keeping your body upright, reducing the back pain you might experience. It’s important to listen to your body and not overexert yourself, especially if you’re just starting to get active again. Stay safe and hydrated. If your back or neck pain is limiting your life and you’re looking to get back out there, call the office of William Capicotto MD at (716) 881-0382, and take the first step in restoring your mobility.