Camping Tips to Save Your Spine
By Sara Butler
Camping season is almost here! That means there will be plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature. There’s nothing quite like a campfire and some fresh air to help you feel invigorated and one with the outdoors. The only problem with camping is that it tends to put quite a few demands on your body. The hauling of equipment, the hiking, and sleeping on the ground may impact your spinal health. Here are some camping tips from the chiropractors at The Joint to help you have a safe camping season that ends with a healthy spine!
Before You Go
Before you get out in the wilderness, there are a few things you can do at home that will save your spine when you’re finally out in the wild. You should:
- Test your gear – Before you pack up all the things you’ll need for your next outdoor adventure, you should test your equipment to ensure its safety and effectiveness.
- Plan ahead – Make sure to plan for the activities you’re going to do on your camping trip to make sure you have the right equipment and that your body is ready for the physical challenge.
- Get to know your campsite – Learn about where you plan to camp and what is available to you to help you prepare.
- List it – Make a list of the things you need to take with you but only take those things which are absolutely essential. Keep your pack light in order to reduce strain on your back.
Prepare Your Body
Camping is fun, but it’s also exercise. Because of this, it can pose quite a few risks to your spinal and musculoskeletal health. Make sure you’re in top shape by paying a visit to your chiropractor at The Joint before you go. They can help you understand how to prepare for the tasks ahead of you, such as biking or hiking, and understand how to prevent injuries along the way. They may suggest you:
- Properly support your spine – From pitching a tent to packing your bag, it’s important to ensure the natural curves of your spine are properly supported. You can do this by keeping your core muscles engaged in activities.
- Lift correctly – Remember to always lift with the power of your legs and hips, never with your back. Pivot to turn instead of twisting the upper body when you’re carrying something heavy.
- Keep the pack light – This one bears repeating because reducing the amount of strain you put on your spine while camping is very important. Avoid excess and take only what you absolutely need when you’re camping. Minimalism will help prevent injuries.
Have fun camping this season -- just don't forget to take care of your back!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Monroe, La.