Summer is on the horizon: the days are long and warm weather tempts you to spend more time outdoors, doing all the activities that cold weather keeps you from.
Whether your version of those activities is engaging in sports, traveling, gardening or something else, you need to be aware that jumping into activities that your body isn’t ready for can easily lead to injuries and pain that will lay you up and rob you of your ability to take care of the sunny season.
The best way to prevent back pain is to understand the right way and wrong way to go about your activities and studiously avoid mistakes. Let’s look at a few of summer’s most popular activities and what you can do to avoid doing damage.
Summer offers a cornucopia of outdoor activity. From running or walking (whether in a park or along a sandy shoreline) to surfing, from golfing to a rousing game of beach volleyball, there are myriad opportunities for pulling a muscle that is out of condition so start slowly and make sure that you stretch and cool down, especially when first starting out.
If you’re working on getting your body into bikini shape, avoid the temptation of doing too much too soon. Lifting weights that are too heavy for you, or even putting too much resistance on your stationary bike at spin class, can wreak havoc on your lower back.
Travel is one of life’s greatest adventures, but whoever said that getting there is half the fun never spent time in a cramped airplane seat.
If you’re going to be stuck in a plane, train or automobile for more than two hours, you need to schedule breaks so that you can do a few toe touches and stretch your legs.
Unless you’re traveling in business class or above, you’re unlikely to have much in the way of lumbar support from your seat, so make sure you bring along a lumbar pillow, or at the very least roll up a magazine or jacket to provide you with support.
Work Around Your House
Whether you’re an avid gardener, a handyman, or simply want to do some ordinary cleanup around the yard, working around the house invariably involves a ton of bending, twisting, reaching and lifting.
All of those activities in the summertime fresh air may ensure a good night of sleep and that “good” tired feeling, but it can also lead to herniated discs and strained back muscles. Lift with your legs, maintain good posture, take a break at least every 30 minutes and remember to hydrate.
One of the best things you can do to prepare for these activities is to get yourself into shape before you start by strengthening your core muscles and making sure that you are loose and limber by doing stretching exercises.
If you do end up in pain and over-the-counter medications and rest don’t provide relief in a few days’ time, don’t delay in setting up a consultation with our lumbar spine specialty physician in New Jersey.