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You Should Celebrate Summer by Taking Care of Your Spine

By Sara Butler

Summertime Spine Health

There’s no season quite like summer. Sure, there are days when it feels like you’re impersonating a baked potato wrapped in foil on the surface of the sun, but for the most part, it’s one of the best seasons of the year. There are so many outdoor activities calling your name, which is both something to celebrate and something to take precautions with.

All the increase in activity during the summer puts you at risk for back problems that could sideline you all season long. That’s why it’s vital to take a few steps to reduce your risk and help you to stay healthy through the dog days of summer. Here are some tips from the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic to help you get started.

Gradually Get Out

When the weather is wonderful you may feel as if you should just jump headfirst into all the activities of the season. However, that can be a mistake that could lead to injury.

Your best bet is to start slow, easing yourself into some of the activities you love such as gardening or sports. It’s crucial to remember that the muscles you use for the summer activities you love lose their strength and tone over the winter and that can lead to injury.

Plan to spend a few days only doing a little bit of activity and then gradually increase what you do over time to help build up muscles and keep yourself healthy.

Think About Travel

Summertime is the time for travel! Unfortunately, this usually means you’ll spend hours sitting in a car, on a train, or on a plane to get where you want to go. This can cause neck and back pain unless you take a few precautionary steps.

When taking a long trip in a vehicle, make sure to stop every few hours to stop and stretch. In a plane or on a train, you can walk up and down the aisle to help prevent stiffness and pain.

Be Careful When Swimming

Nothing says summer like taking a dip in the pool or a trip to the beach. It’s important to remember that water can be dangerous -- so take care when you and your family are having fun in or around it. Don’t dive into the shallow end or into the water where you can’t see the bottom or you risk serious neck injury. Also, be careful you don’t slip around slick surfaces near the pool. Even if you don’t fall, catching yourself when you slip can cause musculoskeletal problems that lead to back and neck pain.

Don’t run around water, and take precautions during water activities such as water skiing or surfing. If you need help learning a new watersport, it pays to get lessons to make sure you’re doing it the right way.

Go Easy on Golf

Golf is great exercise, but that golf swing could cause you some trouble if your body isn’t ready for it. If it’s been a while since you’ve been out on the golf course, take it easy. The twisting motion of your golf swing can get you into more trouble than just a sand trap -- it can lead to serious back issues such as herniated discs.

You can avoid back problems by stretching before you hit the greens and making sure your swing is on point. When you’re off the golf course, work on exercises that strengthen your core to help prevent you from overswinging. It’ll help to keep your back healthy.

Whatever You Do, Be Careful!

After being cooped up in your house for the past year, the last thing you want is an injury that keeps you at home even longer! No matter the activity -- from soccer to softball to putt-putt golf to fixing the gutters -- make sure you warm up and stretch to help ease your body into the activity. You’ll get stronger as the season goes on, but be careful when you start out to help avoid injury!

If you experience back or neck pain this summer, don’t wait for autumn before talking to the chiropractors at The Joint!

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