As summer continues here in Texas, many people with back problems wonder if their favorite activities can negatively affect their spine. As a leader in spine care in the Clear Lake area, Houston Physicians’ Hospital has some summer safety tips to help your back feel great all season long:
- Warm Up Before Playing Summer Sports
Impromptu sports games are a favorite summer activity in Webster, Texas, and the surrounding areas, but they can result in spinal injury without proper preparation. According to the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, stretching prior to physical activity decreases the risk of sustaining an injury (3). Spend about 10-15 minutes before playing any sports to warm up and reduce the risk of an injury that could hold you back from your favorite game.
- Pack Lightly for Vacation
When packing for your summer vacation, be sure to limit the amount of weight you’re packing into your suitcase. The Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine cites heavy lifting as one of the most commonly stated causes of lower back pain (4). To avoid over-packing that leads to back pain, search for hotels that have laundry facilities, so you can wash and re-wear clothes while traveling.
- Avoid Waterskiing
While waterskiing is a fun summer pastime, it is best avoided if you have back pain or have suffered from previous back problems. Due to the high-speed nature of waterskiing, a fall can result in a serious injury of the spine. In fact, The American Journal of Sports Medicine states that injuries sustained during waterskiing are comparable to trauma sustained during vigorous contact sports (2). To protect your spine from serious traumatic injury, it is best for those with back problems to avoid waterskiing.
- Check the Water
We all know the dangers of diving into shallow water, but it can be difficult to determine just how deep the water is at times, especially if the water is a bit murky. Unknowingly taking a dive into too-shallow water can lead to fractures in the vertebrae. According to documentation from Northwestern University-Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Unit, the most common levels of injury associated with diving were C-5 and C-6 vertebrae fractures (1). To avoid a potential spinal injury, always test the water’s depth before diving in.
These safety tips will help your back feel great throughout the season. For expert spine and pain management in the Houston Bay Area, visit the Spine Solutions Center at Houston Physicians’ Hospital at www.SpineSolutionsCenter.com. The Spine Solutions Center is dedicated to helping you get back to the things you love without back pain. Appointments available within 48 hours and no referral is needed.