Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 24, 2019
Gun hunting season for deer is right around the corner, and that means thousands of hunters will soon be heading off to deer camp to see if they can bring home the biggest buck. You might not envision hunting as a very physical activity, but when you consider that you’re carrying heavy equipment, climbing in and out of deer stands and carrying downed game back to a vehicle, it’s certainly a physical endeavor. Not only that, but many hunters are also trekking out into the cold weather while it’s still dark out, and that can easily be a recipe for disaster.
We treat a number of hunters each year for their back pain, so we thought we’d put together a cheat sheet you could bring to deer camp this to help keep everyone’s spine safe this hunting season. Check out the tips below to help protect your back this deer hunting season.
Spine Pain Preventing While Deer Hunting
Here’s a look at a number of different ways to help protect your spine at deer camp and while you’re out in the woods:
- Get some rest – Sleep is a restorative process for our spine and our whole bodies. We know that you’re going to be getting up before dawn to get into the woods, so make sure you head to bed at a reasonable time. Getting only a couple of hours of sleep is going to intensify back pain.
- Stretch – Before you head into the woods, take five minutes to stretch your spine, legs and arms. You’re going to be hauling your gun and equipment to your deer stand, and carrying heavy objects first thing in the morning can overstress your spine and its supporting muscles. Give your body a few minutes to ease into activity before setting out into the woods.
- Stand Safety – The most severe spine injuries that we see related to deer hunting are from hunters that fell out of their stands. Your old stand may have some sentimental value, but if it’s rotted and unsafe, you’re risking a severe spinal injury every time you climb into your stand. Perform some safety checks in the days and weeks leading up to the hunt to ensure your stand if still safe to use when opening day comes. Also, consider investing in a safety harness to prevent you from falling out of the stand if you happen to slip or fall asleep.
- Comfort is King – Whether you’re walking out to your stand or sitting up in the tree, if you’re not comfortable, you’re going to feel it in your spine. Make sure your hunting boots have plenty of padding to absorb the shock of walking, and consider investing in a seating pad to sit on when you’re in the stand to take pressure off your lumbar spine.
- Lifting and Carrying – Make sure you’re practicing proper lifting and carrying techniques when moving objects or downed game. Have a system in place where someone can come help carry a deer back to base if you’re unable to safely move it yourself. Trying to move a heavy object hundreds of yards or more by yourself is a recipe for back pain
- Pack Some Anti-Inflammatories – Finally, if you are prone to spinal inflammation or back pain, pack some over the counter medications to help combat your discomfort. Be careful not to mix medications, even over-the-counter options, with alcohol. Properly using anti-inflammatories can help you stay ahead of your back pain.
If you follow these tips, we’re confident you’ll be in the best position to reduce your risk of back pain during your hunting trip. For more information, or to talk to a doctor about your back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.