Summer is in full swing as the days continue to heat up and the family begins to get restless. We all want to pick activities for the family that are enjoyable, but also safe. Here are four tips on how to stay spine safe during your summer activities!

  1.  Kayaking
    One of the most popular new activities for water lovers in recent years is kayaking. When kayaking, pay attention to how you sit. It’s not ideal to stay seated, especially in a slumped or flexed position, for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Try and take breaks to stretch out your muscles either on land or with a quick swim; this will ensure your back isn’t tight for a prolonged amount of time. Similarly, when you are lifting and moving your kayak use the proper techniques as not to agitate your spine.
  2. Traveling
    Driving or flying to get to your vacation destination? Whether you are the driver or the passenger make sure to get comfortable before the trip even begins. Use a pillow, cushion, rolled up scarf, or any small soft object to support the contour of your back against the seat. We all want to arrive as soon as possible, but it’s important not to let your body stay stiff for a prolonged amount of time, so don’t forget to get up and move around every 30 minutes or so to take a break. Planning a road trip? Find more tips on Car Safety here.
  3. Trampoline Parks & Indoor Inflatables
    Nowadays, some of the top summer hangouts for children and adults alike are indoor inflatable and trampoline parks. These are fun and active ways to spend summer days, but they can also cause severe neck and back pain. On both trampoline and inflatable parks, try jumping and landing with both feet, while using your knees to absorb the shock. This will keep stress on your spine to a minimum. You never want to land on your neck or head. It’s great to make getting up and active a priority, but it’s just as important to take care of your spine.
  4. Gardening & Hiking
    Many of us enjoy outdoor activities such as gardening and hiking. In both activities, the number one rule is to stretch your body first. A brisk five-minute walk and some low impact stretching can help loosen your muscles up to help prepare your body for bending and moving. When gardening, make sure to protect your joints from pressure and stiffness by using kneelers or chairs to help you get up and down. When hiking, it’s important to wear the proper clothing so you do not limit your movement; as well as wear the proper shoes to cushion your impact on the ground. Be prepared, and you’ll be sure to have much more fun!

It’s time to get a handle on your spine health and live free of pain! However, always check with your physician to see if these tips are safe to follow based on your health history.

If you have back pain or back problems, make an appointment with one of First State Spine’s specialists.