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Summer: Fun and Safety

Summer has officially started and with the Fourth of July right around the corner, we know that there are some wonderful summertime activities planned. Summer means vacations, pool parties, barbecues and, of course, heat. It is a wonderful time to change up your exercise routine with a new summer friendly activity. For those of you who manage back problems, the summer can present a new set of issues: the heat and humidity that the summertime brings can increase pain levels. For those of you who don’t worry about back pain, the summertime can present a new set of dangers that may cause injury.

One of the advantages of summer is that it offers the chance for low-impact aerobic exercises like swimming. Swimming can help rehabilitate your back while giving you a great workout. You can try water therapy or aerobic classes. Omaha Parks offers a fun line-up of water based activities for the summer. If swimming isn’t your thing, you can take your bike to the many trails in the area. Biking is gentle on the lower back while allowing you to burn a lot of calories.  Another effective low-impact workout is walking. If you’re a golfer, it’s a great way to get in those steps if your leave behind the cart.

However, the extreme heat of summer can be dangerous if you are planning activities outdoors.  Remember to push yourself without exceeding your limits. A muscle strain or tear can be painful and temporarily keep you from your everyday activities. Hydration is equally important and water is best. Always bring a water bottle with you on any outdoor adventure to avoid heat exhaustion. With any new exercise regimen, make sure you consult with your doctor before beginning.

Swimming and watersports are synonymous with summertime. While we encourage you to take advantage of the benefits of swimming, we also want to emphasize safety. Whether you are swimming for sport or recreation, safety comes first. If you are jumping or diving into water, ensure that it is deep enough to clear. Head and neck injuries are common and devastating injuries in the summertime when revelers dive into too shallow water. Water Skiing, while fun, can present serious injuries due to falls at high speed. Experienced water skiers can often fall in a manner that will prevent injury. If you are a novice, it is best to take things slow; don’t become overconfident in your skill level, and develop a good communication and signal system with the boat captain.

If you find your pain being impacted by the summer weather, you might consider some additional pain relieving techniques. During these times, if your pain flares, you can try icing the area of pain. Continue to use your normal pain management protocol. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try adding a ginger supplement to help with pain management. Recently, it was discovered that ginger helped ease the pain of osteoarthritis in some sufferers. Of course, consult with your doctor before making a change to your diet or pain protocol.

The summertime brings the opportunity to travel and experience new outdoor activities. It can also bring pain inducing weather and more chances for injury, so be careful while you enjoy the nice weather! If you have questions about starting a new exercise routine or pain management this summer, contact us to talk about it!

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