Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Independence Day is almost here, and if you’re lucky enough to have the day off from work, odds are you’re going to try to spend it outside or by the water. With that said, it’s important to take some precautions when ringing in the 4th of July to keep your spine and whole body healthy. Below, we share some tips for keeping your back injury-free over the 4th of July holiday.
There are plenty of fun activities that you can do on the lake, but they can put your spine at risk. Don’t dive into shallow water, and make sure you wear protective headgear if you’re planning on wakeboarding. For more tips for protecting your spine on the water, check out this previous blog.
If you’re out in the sun for long periods, be sure that you are getting enough fluids. If you become dehydrated, your muscles won’t be able to move as easily, which leaves them susceptible to back spasms and sprains. Stay hydrated this 4th of July.
Be smart when it comes to lighting off fireworks. Although we don’t see many spine injuries caused by fireworks, there are always an uptick in hospital visits around the fourth because people injure their hand or eyes while lighting a firework. Only adults should be lighting airborne fireworks, and talk to your teens and children about firework safety for things like sparklers and smoke bombs.
Don’t Overdo It
The midweek reprieve can seem like a great time to bike 30 miles or walk along the Mississippi river for hours, but don’t overdo the physical activity. Work on gradually increasing your walking or riding distance, and stop if you begin to develop pain or soreness.
Like the firework tip, this reminder is more for your whole body health than just your spine. Make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen if you’re going to be outside for a long time, and don’t forget to re-apply every couple of hours. If you don’t, not only will you have a nice sunburn at work later in the week, but you’re also increasing your risk for skin cancer.
However you plan to celebrate the 4th of July, try to take a mental note of your posture throughout the day. If you’re lounging in a chair reading on your Kindle or fishing on a rowboat, make sure your head is positioned over your spine and that you’re not leaning forward putting extra pressure on your cervical spine. Same goes for if you’re driving in a car to get to your destination. Perform a self check of your posture, and make the necessary self-corrections if you notice you’re putting excessive pressure on one area of your spine.