How to Avoid Back Pain During Summer

back painFor most people, the summer months represent the most physically active time of the year. Depending on where you live, this may be the only time when the weather is consistently warm and dry. There’s hiking, climbing, waterskiing, swimming, golfing, tennis, and numerous other possibilities to consider. That’s why people often wish summer was quite a bit longer—they don’t want all that beautiful weather and physical exercise to end.

But being more active, and participating in a wider range of sporting and recreational activities, also means greater susceptibility to injury. Visits to urgent care centers and other medical facilities tend to “spike” in summer months as more people engage in hard physical activity.

Sometimes it’s not a sudden or traumatic injury, but rather a slow onset of back pain due to unhealthy habits. If you’ve ever found yourself struggling with back or neck pain during the summer (or if you just want to prevent such symptoms from developing in the future), consider these simple measures you can take:

1. Stretching

This is probably the number one way to prevent back pain during summer months. People tend to rush outside and begin physical activity without proper stretching. This can lead to pulled muscles, pinched nerves, and other sources of back pain that can linger for weeks. Take the time to stretch before you get outside for summer activities—you’ll be glad you did.

2. Warm ups and cool downs

Another common mistake is forgetting to warm up before physical activity, or cool down afterwards. Slowly increase your heart rate with simple, light exercises before you engage in harder physical activity. Afterwards, take the time to “shake it out,” stretch, and cool down. Your back and neck will thank you for it.

3. Not pushing the envelope

Being overzealous during outdoor summer activities is totally understandable. After all, it’s summer time and the weather is beautiful. You’re enjoying it to the fullest. But it’s still important to remember that your body has limitations, and pushing things too far could result in injury or lingering soreness after the sun goes down.

4. Having the proper equipment

If you’re a jogger, or play any specific sport, it’s a good idea to have sneakers and other equipment that are specifically designed for that purpose. Shoes and clothing are especially important as they give proper spinal support and allow freedom of movement during specific summer activities.

5. Seeking chiropractic care

There’s a reason why millions of Americans seek chiropractic care every summer, whether to treat existing symptoms or prevent future ones. Expert adjustments to the spinal column are proven to bring meaningful relief from back pain, and prevent small problems from becoming big ones during the summer months. Many professional sports teams and athletic organizations keep a qualified chiropractic professional on staff for just this reason. Any time sports and physical activity are in the picture, spinal health becomes even more important. And when your spine is well taken care of, your overall health benefits throughout the year.

Have a great summer, and please feel free to leave questions or comments here!