What are five ways you can prevent low back pain in the summer?
1. Hire someone for lifting
Researchers have found that lifting loads over 55 pounds and lifting over 25 times a day increases lower back pain significantly. If your summer project list includes jobs that will require heavy or repetitive lifting, it may be a good idea to hire someone to help you.
2. Take breaks from sitting
Between long car trips and watching the kids at the pool, summer can be a season of prolonged sitting. According to a 2015 study, there is a significant relationship between total sitting time and low back pain. The researchers included sitting for recreational and leisure purposes in their study.
3. Get in the pool
According to the Journal of Clinical Rehabilitation, there is sufficient evidence that aquatic exercise has a beneficial effect on low back pain. Gravity tends to put additional pressure on the disks when standing on the dry ground. The buoyancy of the pool can work against gravity, taking some of the load off of the disks. Getting in the water can also allow you to really lengthen and stretch the back muscles.
Stretching has been shown to be an effective method to prevent low back pain. Regular stretching works by increasing flexibility and thereby decreasing pressure on the back, especially uneven pressure resulting from poor flexibility. Developing the right stretching program will help you to build strong and flexible muscles that will help to prevent injury.
5. Be a wise athlete
Extra daylight and warmer weekends can mean more time for outdoor adventures. This time of year, it can be easy to get talked into a 100 mile bike ride or 5 mile kayak trip. However, great athletic endeavors require more than just daylight and nice weather. If you plan to tackle a great adventure this summer, it is a good idea to prepare in incremental steps so that the adventure does not result in a permanent injury.
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Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.