Back pain is awful no matter what time of year it hits, but there’s an extra level of misery that comes when it strikes during the summer when you want to be outside. Unfortunately, summertime is when a lot of people end up hurting themselves, as they rush outside and engage in injury-prone activities.
You may think that your activity level keeps you safe as long as you’re not playing in crashing waves or riding on rollercoasters, but the truth is that there are plenty of benign activities that end up leading to back pain. Here are some tips for avoiding some of the most common causes of pain.
- Ease Into Activities – Whether sunny days are calling you to take long walks on the beach or a hike in a national park, remember that you can’t rush into those activities. All those months spent inside on the couch binge-watching your favorite shows have left you out of shape and vulnerable to injury. Start off with short walks around the block and work your way up to longer distances.
- Don’t Rush Into Weekends – The same principal behind easing into activities applies to your weekends: you can’t sit around and do nothing from Monday through Friday and then expect to be able to run a 5K or play volleyball on Saturday and Sunday. At least not without risking injury and pain. Your back requires constant conditioning to avoid strains, so try to get about 30 minutes of exercise at least a couple of days during the week to avoid the curse of the “weekend warrior.”
- Beware the Dangers of Your Lawn and Garden – You may think the most dangerous part of your garden is being stung by a bee or stumbling upon poison ivy, but plenty of people head out to plant flowers, weed or mow and end up in excruciating pain. The solution? Go slowly, don’t bend at the waist, lift with your legs and remember to stretch. You don’t need to get everything planted in one day, and if you’re bent over for too long or twist the wrong way when planting or pulling, you could end up out of commission for weeks. The same is true when it comes to mowing the lawn: stretch before you start, try not to bend over or hang your head down while pushing the mower, and take frequent breaks.
- Skip the Flip-Flops – One of the sure signs of warm weather is seeing everybody’s toes hanging out in flip-flops, but no matter how cool you feel when you’re wearing them, they can end up leading to back pain. Flip-flops’ flatness means that they give you neither support nor stability, making it much more likely that you will be fatigued or that you’ll slip and fall. They’re fine for lying on the beach, but when you’re gardening or exercising opt for a sneaker with arch and ankle support.
If these precautions don’t prevent you from experiencing back pain, we’re here to help. Call our office today to set up a time to see our back pain specialists.