Keeping your spine happy and healthy is really important to avoid chronic back pain, and summer especially is a time when back health is rarely prioritised. As the weather warms up and most people head off on summer holidays, physical activity (or lack of) can be a problem and can even trigger back pain. There are many activities we get involved in during this time of year which can be harmful to our back now or at a later stage.
From playing summer sports such as golf, tennis and bowls, to sitting still for long periods of time on long haul journeys, summer can put extreme stress on our backs. Here are some top tips for keeping your back healthy this summer.
We all want our gardens to look their best in peak season – but too much bending in the garden can be a contributing factor to back pain. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, planting bedding plants or lifting plant pots and watering cans, general garden maintenance can wreak havoc on your spine. Use specialised back-friendly tools such as long-handed trowels and rakes, and when bending always use a kneeler or cushioned support.
When the weather is fine, golf enthusiasts like to get on the green and play as many holes as possible! Whether playing at home or abroad, it’s important not to let that golf swing affect the rest of your holiday or summer. Frequent players can experience back pain or more serious problems, and some pro golfers have had to undergo back pain treatment or surgery. To avoid injury, always stretch before starting the game and try not to over-swing or twist too much.
Long haul travel
Everybody looks forward to their summer holidays, but a long haul flight or car ride can flare up back pain and ruin your holiday. It is difficult to keep a correct posture during flights, and a survey by Spine Universe revealed that 88% of people experience back or neck pain during or after a flight. There isn’t much you can do to improve the comfort on an aeroplane, but try and get up to walk around every 40 minutes. You should also stretch out the back regularly and use a neck pillow to support the neck and spine.
Swimming and diving
Diving into pools without proper technique has the potential to cause neck or spine injury. Jumping into water at an awkward angle can be dangerous, so it is recommended to never jump or dive into lakes or pools when you are alone. If you plan to do a lot of swimming over the summer, practice a range of different strokes and techniques and don’t keep your head above water all of the time, as this can place pressure on the neck.
Summer can take its toll on your back – follow these tips to keep pain free.