With the weather finally warming up, it's time to get outside and get moving! Whether it's picking back up your favorite summer sport or just going on a simple hike with your family, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the warm weather.
Don't let unexpected neck or back pain keep you from making the most of your outdoor time. In this blog, the physicians at Resurgens Spine Center will show you how to avoid some of the most common causes of neck and back pain during your outdoor activities.
Visiting any of our beautiful Georgia lakes is one of the best ways to spend time outdoors. Take your pick of your favorite lake activities - swimming, fishing, waterskiing - and there's a lake for you to do just that! While you and your family enjoy a safe and fun day at the lake, it's important to keep a few tips in mind.
If you are waterskiing, wear the right protective gear - especially a life vest. A life vest may help you maintain good form while waterskiing. Also, make sure you go out with a seasoned skier who can show you proper form.
When swimming, you should be careful in and out of the water. One way to seriously injure your back is slipping and falling on the dock or pool deck, so take careful steps and don't run! If you are diving into the water, it's also important to know just how deep the water is. This only scratches the surface of summer water safety; there are many other ways to protect your neck and back when swimming.
If you really want to get moving, what better way than to hop on a bike and start cycling? You can explore the city or the nearest nature trail, all while getting in shape. Although cycling is an easy way to enjoy the outdoors, it's also an easy way to develop some aggravating neck or back pain.
Developing a good riding posture is one of the most effective measures you can take to avoid back pain during your next bike ride. You should get a bike that fits your body, so you won't need to hunch forward or reach to hold the handlebars. You should also frequently change your riding position and make sure you occasionally lift your head as you ride, in order to give your neck and upper back muscles a rest. If you hit the outdoors on a bike, it's worth checking out more tips on keeping safe while riding.
Camping and Hiking
Georgia is the home of a number of excellent hiking trails, camping spots, and national parks. And you'd be remiss to not enjoy the outdoors by surrounding yourself with nature. Of course, if you and your family go hiking or camping, there are many safety concerns that you should be aware of, especially when it comes to your back and neck.
Before you go hiking, make sure you stretch in order to loosen up your muscles and joints. This reduces the likelihood of pulling muscles in our neck or back during your hike. Similarly, while hiking, take frequent rests to give your muscles a break and avoid overexerting them. If you're carrying supplies with you in a backpack, be sure to evenly distribute the items you are carrying. Choose a backpack with padded straps and be sure to use both straps while hiking. This helps decrease your risk for neck pain during your hike.
Camping with your family, which can be less physically intensive than hiking, still has the potential to cause neck or back pain without the right body support. For instance, if you're sleeping on an uncomfortable cot, or in a sleeping bag on uneven ground, there's a chance your back will be aching the next day. To avoid potential back pain, it's best to come prepared to your campsite with a lightweight inflatable mattress to ensure your back or neck doesn't end up in an awkward position.
Don't spend too much time indoors when there are so many fun activities for you to go out and experience. But as with any physical activities, be careful when it comes to your neck and back.
If you suffered a back or neck injury while enjoying your favorite activity, schedule an appointment today with one of our expert spine physicians, so you can get back to the outdoors!