Summer is typically the season people are most active. From running around with the kids to heading out on exotic vacations, summer is the perfect time to get out of the house and get moving. However, that also means it’s a time when you need to take extra care to ensure a healthy and pain-free spine. The East Stroudsburg chiropractors at Marshalls Creek Wellness Solutions are here to offer tips on how to best care for your spinal health this summer! Keep reading to learn more, or if you are experiencing back pain, make an appointment to see our chiropractors this summer!
Be A Spine-Aware Traveler
One of the biggest reasons we see new patients during the summer is because they are dealing with travel-related back pain. Anyone who has spent more than a few hours in a cramped airplane seat or driving in the car can attest to the discomfort it brings about. This is most often due to an improper sitting position. To avoid arriving in Florida in a heap of pain, bring a lumbar support pillow with you to support your lower back and make sure your feet are planted on the floor. Use a makeshift footrest if your feet do not comfortably rest on the floor, as dangling feet can lead to lower back strain. If you plan on sleeping en route, bring a neck pillow to ensure your head doesn’t roll around when you start to drift off.
Be Careful Hauling Luggage
Whether you’re throwing a suitcase into the trunk of a care or into an overhead compartment, make sure you are cognizant of how you are moving your body and muscles. When picking up a heavy suitcase, bend at the knees to pick it up and lift with the leg muscles, rather than the back muscles.
On a similar note, if you will be carrying around a backpack or a purse, be sure to pack light and only take what you’ll need for each day.
Choose The Right Footwear
Summer also involves a lot of walking, and those $3 Old Navy flip flops are not going to do your back and joints any favors when you’re spending hours on your feet. Invest in some sturdy walking sandals with arch support and cushioning, or break out those trusty tennis shoes.
Focus on Good Sleep
Doing a lot of summer activities can also mess with your sleep schedule. If you have a hard time falling asleep, you run the risk of tossing and turning and ultimately falling asleep in an awkward position. Be sure to focus on getting a good night’s sleep every night so you can be ready to take on the day.
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things you can do for your body. From your skin and hair to your vital organs, everything is better when you are hydrated, including your spine. Dehydration can lead to stiff back muscles, which can themselves lead to painful strains and slipped discs. You lose more water through sweating and breathing during the hot summer, so be sure to drink more water than normal, especially if you are doing physical activities outside.
Embrace Daily Stretching
Stretching your back, neck, and hips is a great way to prepare your body for a long day of walking around Disney World or paddle boarding in the Pacific Ocean, as well as a helpful way to unwind after an active day. We’ve listed a few stretches you can try below, but be sure to chat with your chiropractor before doing these if you have any current injuries.
- Neck Stretches: Start by bringing your chin down toward your chest so you feel a nice stretch in the back of your neck. Center the head, and bring your ear down to each shoulder, alternating each side. Repeat these a few times.
- Back Stretches: Start in the common yoga position, Child’s Pose. Put both knees on the ground, spread slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Extend your hands to the floor in front of you while you rest your buttocks on your heels. Sink into the position for a whole-back stretch. Then, move onto your hands and knees with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Alternate between rounding your back upwards towards the ceiling and arching it down toward the floor. Other back stretches include the simple “touch your toes” stretch, either while standing or sitting, and reaching your arms over your head and leaning side to side.
- Hip Stretches: Kneel with your right knee on the floor and plant your left leg at a 90-degree angle in front of your body. Lean forward at the hips until you feel a stretch, and repeat on the other side. Then lay on the floor with your feet planted on the ground. Lace your fingers behind one leg and pull it toward your chest, opening your hip flexors.
Visit Your Chiropractor
If the fun of summer is taking a toll on your spine, be sure to schedule a visit to Marshalls Creek Wellness Solutions! Our chiropractic care and massage therapy can help realign your spine and loosen tight muscles so you can truly enjoy your summer. We also offer physiotherapy and corrective exercises for those recovering from back injuries that might be limiting the activities you can do this summer. Start your journey to wellness at Marshalls Creek!