When you’re away on vacation, the last thing you want is to spend your time managing back pain. Whether you’ve recently had back surgery or suffer from a chronic condition, it is important to be aware of certain activities which can cause your back pain to flare up. Before you go ahead and book an activity (especially if it requires a deposit), consider our list of top vacation activities that can aggravate back injuries.
Riding a Four-Wheeler
The most common injury from riding an ATV is chronic lumbosacral strain, caused by bad posture as you lean over to reach the handlebars. Because most bikes are made to fit the average person, being too big or small within these measurements can put a strain on your back. Remember that the longer you ride, the more likely that you will end up with back pain. If you douse a four-wheeler on vacation, ensure that a medical professional clears you to do so and try to only go for a short ride.
You may think that being suspended up in the air while you parasail is a low impact activity and won’t cause you back pain. However, it is usually the take-off and landing which can cause injury. Any wrong landing can cause serious damage, and if you already have a back injury, then it may not be worth the risk. Most adventure companies also discourage parasailing if you have a back injury.
Boating in Choppy Water
Whether you want to go fishing or take a boat tour, ending up in rough and choppy waters can take a toll on your back. Unless you are familiar with listening to your body and reducing the risk of re-injuring your back — such as bending your knees to absorb some of the shock — you may be better off viewing the water from the shoreline. Boating can also require long periods of sitting or standing, which can cause your back muscles to ache. If you do go on a boat, be sure to change positions frequently.
If you are carrying tension in your body while horseback riding, it can cause you to absorb the motion of the horse in your lower back. The movement of your spine should be soft and undulating to prevent strain and muscle pain in your back.
While walking is a good activity to engage in that can even help with back pain relief, be mindful of your pace, technique, and the proper terrain. Going on a strenuous hike through the woods or up a mountain may not be the best idea while on vacation, but with a comfortable pair of shoes, you could opt for a nice stroll on a sidewalk — just be sure not to overdo it.
Playing Non-Contact Sports
Golf and tennis can be fun to play casually with friends and family, yet both can put a strain on your lower back. The twisting of your upper body as you wind up for a golf swing creates tension between the upper and lower back, which can cause muscle strains or tweak an old injury.
If you suffer from back pain or would like to learn more information, contact Dr. Vivek Kushwaha, an orthopedic surgeon in Houston for professional advice.