6 Ways to Care For Your Spine During The Warm Summer Months

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Athletes Spinal Stress Fractures

Summer is here, and considering that it can sometimes be short-lived in Minnesota, we often try to soak up the sun and spend as much time outside as we can. All this extra time in the sun can certainly help our Vitamin D production, which is helpful for our spine, but the warm weather can also be hard on our back and bodies if we’re not careful. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the ways to care for your spine during the warm summer months.

Helping Your Spine Beat The Heat

The summer heat can be tough on your spine in a number of different ways. Here’s a look at some of those challenges, and how you can help prevent them from causing problems for your spine.

  1. Dehydration – When your body is dehydrated, muscles in your spine can become stiff and can’t move as efficiently. This can put you at a heightened risk for injuries like muscle strains and tears. Stay hydrated so that your body and joints can move optimally.
  2. Consider Icing – If you’re dealing with back soreness or an acute injury, consider combating the discomfort with ice. Icing an area can help to limit swelling after an injury or control painful muscle spasms. Don’t apply ice directly to the area. Instead, wrap the ice pack or bag of ice in a towel and then apply to the area.
  3. Safety Gear – Summer is also a time when we partake in a number of high-speed activities, like cycling, ATVing, jet skiing, waterskiing, rollerblading and a lot of other activities on two or four wheels. Make sure you have the proper equipment to protect yourself in the event of a fall or crash. Helmets and seat belts are a must during these activities.
  4. Swimming Safety – Swimming can be a great way to exercise while also staying cool, but you also need to be smart around water. Never dive into a pool or lake where you don’t know the depth. On really hot days, doing an exercise routine in the water can help you beat the heat and develop your spinal muscles. Learn more about aqua therapy and how it can help improve your spine here.
  5. Summer Travel – If you’re gearing up for a summer road trip or heading somewhere on a cross-country flight, you need to be aware of how all this travel can affect your spine. Extended periods in a car seat or on a plane can put a lot of pressure on your lumbar spine. Check out these tips for protecting your spine when you travel.
  6. Break Up Outdoor Chores – Finally, be cognizant of how you’re attacking outdoor chores. Wake up early or do things around dusk to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Also, be sure to break up activities throughout the day. You don’t need to weed the entire garden in one go, or rake, mow, weed whack and clean the gutters back to back. Too much strenuous activity can lead to back injuries, especially if you’re working in high temperatures. Drink plenty of fluids and cool off in the shade between activities.

If you need help with a spine issue this summer, or you want someone to figure out what’s going on in your spine, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his team today.

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