How To Avoid Neck and Back Pain This Spring
Everyone is starting to spring into action. But sometimes those spring-time activities can trigger spine pain. After a few months of winter hibernation, your body might not be quite ready for a sudden burst of activity. So before you start cleaning with vengeance, swinging clubs like no tomorrow, or traveling all over hill and dale; here are few suggestions to help keep the spring in your step.
Spring is usually synonymous with cleaning. Vehicles, garages, houses, and yards; all need a thorough sprucing up once and a while. If you expect to do everything at once, you will likely pay a price for doing too much. By setting a sustainable pace, everything will get done without undoing you. Not only pacing yourself, but also practicing good body mechanics is an important way to get things done without causing a pain flare-up. Bending the knees, moving the feet, and minimizing the reaching can greatly assist your spine especially when using tools like the shovels, rakes and vacuums. And remember, there is always tomorrow when your back or neck feels like it has had enough.
All of the golfer’s out there are itching for 18-hole days on a regular (if not daily) basis. If that describes you, then you may also be cruising for a bout of spine pain too. Did you know that playing golf is one of the most common causes of low back pain? Or maybe you are already experiencing back pain because of poor swing mechanics. Too much extension (arch) in the follow through, too much twisting to generate more power, or clubs that are too short; all of these things contribute to low back pain in golfers. Talk to a professional if you are experiencing problems or improve your mechanics now to prevent pain later.
Speaking about professional help, recently, a patient told me that she and her husband were planning to go to Belize. Well, the 20 hours of traveling did not sound like a good idea to me knowing the condition of her spine. When we talked, she did not realize that the travel time was so long and that she would likely land in Belize with debilitating pain. Not a good way to start a trip for sure.
“How about Hawaii?” I suggested, “It is only a five hour flight (from California) at the most.”
She was intrigued by the suggestion and would discuss it with her husband. Hopefully I helped to prevent another miserable trip with spine pain. Traveling with back and neck pain is not easy. But if you pay attention to travel time, use luggage that is better for your spine and stay in places with Tempur-Pedic mattresses, you will be more likely to have a more comfortable spring fling.
Hey spring can be fun, rejuvenating and rewarding. But you have to be smarter than your problem or anticipate potential problems before they happen. So, clean what needs cleaning, swing away and enjoy that spring fling with these tips in mind. Happy Spring!
Christina Lasich, M.D., wrote about chronic pain and osteoarthritis for HealthCentral. She is physiatrist in Grass Valley, California. She specializes in pain management and spine rehabilitation.