For many people living on Long Island, summer is a transformative time. There’s no better opportunity to take advantage of the glorious beaches, or to spend hours with friends in your backyard. As Long Island orthopedists, we have unfortunately observed that these summer activities can take a toll on your physical health, without the proper preparation. Read on to learn about some of the biggest threats the warm weather can pose to your health, and how you can relieve this back pain, or prevent it altogether.
There’s nothing like an adventure to start off your summer, or end it on a high note. Unfortunately, road trips and plane rides can lead to back pain. Because the spine is connected to the neck, sitting for extended periods of time may also lead to neck pain. Furthermore, lifting luggage in an unsafe manner may aggravate the spine, especially with an existing condition.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent spinal pain during travel. First and foremost, standing up from your seat often will help your vertebrae to exchange fluids, relieving swelling and pain. Packing light limits the weight you will have to carry. Bringing a lumbar support pillow will encourage positive sleeping habits, as well as better posture. Our Long Island orthopedic office can recommend travel tips based on your unique condition.
Poor Sleeping Habits
With longer days and activities abound, you’re bound to sleep less during the summer. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation can compound the already difficult issue of back pain. This includes a general lack of sleep and waking up frequently. Additionally, sleeping in a painful position can also influence back pain. While this varies by the individual, sleeping on the back or side with leg support is generally ideal.
Taking steps to ensure that your sleeping habits are healthy can make a significant difference in your spinal pain. Finding a mattress that suits your spinal condition should be the first step. A Long Island orthopedist can make a recommendation based on a few factors.
Attending Concerts and Events
Going to baseball games and concerts is a summer staple for many Long Island families. However, the motions associated with these events can cause harm to your spine.
The seating arrangements in outdoor arenas are seldom suited for people with spinal conditions. Weak chairs that do little to offer spinal support will generally leave spine-sensitive attendees with discomfort.
Bringing a portable back support cushion may limit some degree of this problem. Additionally, getting up to use the bathroom, purchase a snack, or just walk around will also give your body the change of pace it needs. For more advice about posture, contact a Long Island orthopedist.
Gardening during the spring and summer can be quite a mentally restorative activity. But, this hobby can wreak havoc on your lower back.
Many chronic injuries result from overuse of specific muscles, in a way that is quite similar to gardening. For example, repeatedly bending over while digging will place stress on your spinal muscles. Gardening for hours on end can cause your muscles, tendons and ligaments to become worn. Our Long Island orthopedic office has diagnosed and treated several gardening-related injuries.
To limit back pain from gardening, you’ll want to stretch regularly, and especially before hitting the yard. There are more involved back pain exercises that will mitigate this pain as well. Also, taking extended breaks to give your body a rest and re-hydrate is imperative.
If you love roller coasters, you probably hate waiting on lines– and your spine feels the same way. Hunching over in an uncomfortable position while waiting on a line can damage your spine. Furthermore, standing in line can have consequences as well.
Sitting down will aid in alleviating this potential stress. If you are concerned about whether or not this stress will have an adverse effect on your back, contact a Long Island orthopedist.
The same principles spine-conscious principles apply to lounging at the beach. Flip-flops offer little to no back support, and walking with them for miles can trigger chronic back pain. Carrying excessive weight to and from the beach can also irritate your spine, especially if you’re using improper lifting technique. Beware of swimming injuries as well.
An overly sedentary day at the beach can also put undue stress on your spine. Tanning or lying down for an excessive amount of time will only trigger chronic back pain. To avoid this back pain, you should intermittently stand up and walk around.
You should also stay hydrated in the heat of the sun.
Concerned About Your Spine’s Safety? Contact a Long Island Orthopedist
There’s no reason to go through the day with spinal discomfort or pain. If you notice that your spine is overreacting to these summer activities, then be sure to contact a Long Island orthopedist. The team at Central Orthopedics can help patients to overcome both injury-related and gradually developed pain.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Exercise
Where should your summer exercise take place? The warm weather drags some people outside, but the excessive heat can push some people inside.
Exercising Outside During the Summer:
Exercising outdoors can have a relaxing, cleansing effect on the mind. Being in nature and feeling the wind helps to clear the mind, and focus more intently on the things that matter.
The outdoors are always just a step away. If you have minimal time to exercise, then stepping outside is quick and easy.
Inclement weather can limit your exercise. Excessive rain, wind or even heat could cut your workout short, or prevent it altogether.
Standard road safety concerns, like oncoming traffic, require a greater degree of attention.
Exercising Inside During the Summer:
Air-conditioned gyms offer greater comfort to fitness enthusiasts, without the potential for rapid dehydration.
Exercise machines allow people to engage in more intense workouts, and thus, reap outstanding results.
Studies have shown that exercising inside does not offer the same restorative benefits as being outdoors.
People tend to be less motivated to finish a treadmill workout than an outdoor run or jog.
Regardless of your choice, be sure to take the appropriate precautions. Working out without stretching can have severe consequences. Our Long Island orthopedists can help you to adopt a healthier workout style.