Whether you’re getting more active in sports, headed on a weekend getaway, doing yard work, or simply going to a baseball game, your favorite summertime activities could be making you more susceptible to back pain. Even if you don’t experience chronic back pain typically, summer-specific pursuits may be putting you at a higher risk of discomfort or injury.
During weekend getaways or summer vacations, we often find ourselves sitting for long periods of time during car trips or airplane rides on the way to our destination. After sitting for an extended duration, your spine will eventually feel the pressure, resulting in discomfort. The discs in the back expand and contract with movement. When sitting all day, these discs are compressed and cause aching. Allow the discs to expand by walking around while at a rest stop, or standing up from your seat and stretching for a few minutes during a flight.
Warmer weather also calls for more tender loving care to your plants. Though gardening may seem like a low-risk activity, the constant pulling and twisting while hunched over for long periods can cause issues as well. About 80 to 90 percent of your movement during yardwork is in a bent position. The constant effort pushing the lawn mower forward and extended periods of time crouched down digging put an added strain on your lower back that can lead to injury or at least some pain. Mowing the entire lawn or planting the whole garden in one job may be time-effective, but can intensely affect your posture and back. Take frequent breaks and remember to stretch and walk around to keep your muscles loose.
Looking forward to the next home game of your favorite team? The only downside to attending a baseball game, or any stadium seating, is how unsupportive the seating options are. Often known as “bleacher back,” spectators tend to compensate for the lack of a back rest or uncomfortable hard plastic chairs by bending forward or setting their elbows on their knees. This position places abnormal stress on your lower back. If allowed, bring your own seating cushion to the next game for added back support.
With warm weather, many of us get outside and pursue activities that we may not keep up with year round. Summer sports like golf and tennis can put you at risk for back, as they both involve a lot of forceful rotation in a flexed position. Try to get into good shape before going 100% effort. Also, carrying anything of a heavier weight puts added pressure on your spine, contorting your posture. If you’re a golfer, consider investing in either the lightest golf bag available or a pull cart bag to prevent these types of back aches.
What types of plans do you have this summer? Be sure to take preventative measures like sitting less and alleviating any heavy loads like golf bags or gardening equipment. If you’re feeling back pain that’s severe or just won’t let up, contact our office for a consultation.