Whether it is the humidity or increased activity, summer can be a time of increased back pain for some. With the beautiful weather and unlimited activities, it is only natural that you want to soak up as much outdoor time as possible. However, if you have back pain, the warm weather can bring more opportunities to injure your spine. While spending time enjoying the fresh air, remember to keep your back in mind. Here are some tips for preventing back pain during some of your favorite summer activities.
For those with back pain, traveling can be anything but fun. Sitting in a car or on an airplane for extended periods of time can be very hard on your neck and back. If possible, break up long car trips with a rest stop every hour or two to get up and stretch. If you are flying on a plane or a train, get up and stretch ever 20-30 minutes.
Speaking of flying, there are a few things to mention before you even get on the plane. When traveling by air, long lines, carrying and lifting heavy luggage, bending over to take your shoes off, and sitting for long hours in uncomfortable chairs are all in your future. While packing your bags, don’t overload your luggage (Besides, you want to leave room souvenirs!). When picking them up, make sure you lift properly, avoiding bending at the waist. Another tip: Wear proper shoes that provide the necessary support to absorb impact from walking around the airport.
For some, insomnia can be a problem in the summer. If you think about it, this makes sense. Longer days, increased activity and nights spent in front of the campfire can throw your sleep schedule out of whack. So can the heat and humidity, which can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. In addition, summer travel can lead to sleeping on the ground or on different beds and mattresses, leaving you with next day aches and pains that throw a damper on your summer activities.
It is always best to try and stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time as consistently as possible. If it is still light out when you go to bed, try investing in blackout curtains. If heat is the problem, try an efficient fan or a window air conditioner. When traveling, opt for a hotel bed or a cottage bed, which will do your back more favors than sleeping on the ground.
Swimming is one of the best activities you can do in the summer. It’s also one of the best things you can do for your back. This low-impact exercise combines strengthening your back and abdominal muscles with leg toning and cardiovascular conditioning. Water provides more resistance than air, allowing you to burn more calories and work your core muscles harder. However, when enjoying water time fun, keep a few things in mind. Diving into shallow water could potentially lead to spinal cord injury. In addition, running around the pool area could lead to slips and falls, which may also cause injury. Other shallow water activities such as surfing, bodyboarding, and water skiing, should also be treated carefully as a fall could seriously injure our neck or back.
Everyone loves a beautiful garden. From fresh herbs and vegetables to stunning flower displays, gardening is a favorite activity of those looking to boost their curb appeal for the summer. However, like snow removal in winter, gardening can put a great deal of strain on your back. From digging to harvesting, muscle stress and improper posture can lead you with worse back pain than when you started. Avoid this back pain by taking breaks. It’s best to divide large tasks into smaller ones to avoid overworking yourself. With regular breaks to stretch out, you can avoid severe pain while also enjoying the sun and bring productive in your yard.
Other Summer Activities
With an abundance of outdoor activities, the increase in movement can put a lot of strain on your back. Whether it’s a sporting event or a trip to the amusement park, keep your back in mind. It is always best to properly warm up and stretch before an after any activity. If you notice pain, use a cold ice pack to alleviate any swelling and take it easy. Pain is a sign that your body needs a break. If you notice certain activities are causing more pain, take note and bring it up with your doctor.
Make William Capicotto MD your first choice for surgery.
No one wants to be sidelined from their favorite summer activities because of back pain. If your back pain is debilitating, we invite you to call our office to schedule a consultation. At William Cappicotto, we restore motion to your spine so you can move on with your life.