How to Manage Chronic Back Pain This Summer
Now that summer is in full swing, it's time to manage your chronic back pain. By doing so, you can free yourself of discomfort and enjoy the summer season to the fullest. The key to taking control of your chronic back pain is preparing for anticipated obstacles and reducing your reliance on your friends and family. Without further ado, here are some tips to help you manage chronic back pain this summer.
Surround Yourself with Water
There's no better way to strengthen your back muscles and ease your back pain than swimming. You'll find that the buoyancy of water not only supports your body's weight, it also eases stress on your back and allows you to enjoy a greater range of motion. If you're not much of a swimmer, light stretching exercise in a shallow pool should do the trick.
Stay Away From Excessive Heat
Some summer days will be significantly hotter than others and do nothing but exacerbate your back pain. Make sure you check the weather forecast frequently so you know when to stay away indoors.
Try to plan most of your outdoor activities in the early afternoon or after the sun sets so that you miss the scorching hot temperatures. If you must be outside in the extreme heat, wear a large brimmed hat, loose fitting clothing, and comfortable shoes.
Be Selective with Your Seat
Not all seats are created equal. In fact, some can irritate your back pain more than others. So avoid sitting on the ground, bleachers, small restaurants chairs, and other uncomfortable seats whenever you can. If you know you're going somewhere with poor seating options, don't hesitate to bring a folding chair or a few cushions to support your lower back.
It's all too easy to ignore your nutrition in the summer months, especially if you attend many cookouts and social activities. While it's okay to enjoy a burger or ice cream cone every once in a while, it's important to fill your diet with plenty of fruits and veggies. The summer is the best time for fresh produce such as peaches, tomatoes, watermelon, and squash. These foods can help you fight against chronic pain and keep your back strong and healthy.
Pay Attention to Air Quality
The Air Quality Index (AQUI) can give you an idea of the air quality before you go outside. A higher AQUI indicates more air pollution and a greater health concern for you. Therefore, avoid the outdoors on days when the AQUI is particular high. This strategy can reduce your risk of inflammation and keep your back pain in check during the summer months.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you have a jam packed schedule this summer, make the time to visit the doctor if conservative back pain treatments deem to be ineffective or your back pain worsens. They can examine your back and propose an alternative treatment plan that may include surgery or other measures you haven't tried in the past.
The summer is the season of sunshine, blue skies, and great times. Follow these tips to ensure you take control of your back pain and make the most out of these three short months.