Avoiding back pain on your hike
Now that spring time is here in Southern Utah, it’s time to see your chiropractor and head out to Zion National Parkfor some backpacking. Keep these healthy tips in mind as you prepare for your weekend adventure. Make the most of the trip by preparing your equipment and yourself. Come to Innova Pain Clinic and get the kinks worked out of your back prior to your hike.
We all know what we ought to take on a day hike. Leave the extras at home. You don’t need your laptop, 20 lbs of camera equipment, or Websters Dictionary. Your back will be thanking you for taking the essentials. Don’t go cheap on water though. Even if it is a bit heavy.
Exercise In Advance
For a few weeks prior to your hike, get out and walk more, lots more. You will need to toughen up your muscles and ligaments prior to your hike. Just go for extended walks around the block. If you can walk for an hour a day, every day, prior to your hike, it will greatly reduce your risk of a disuse atrophy induced muscle injury.
Correct Your Spine Early
If you have had a weakness or ‘catch’ in your weight-bearing joints. Be sure to stop by our office for an evaluation. A simple fix might really save the day for you. That minor injury might flare up during your hike. Let us fix you up ahead of time.
Use Walking Poles
When walking or hiking on trails, especially with a backpack, there is a forward shift in your weight bearing. This places additional stresses into the hips. By using hiking poles, you are able to transfer from of the weight through your arms. It makes a big difference when going up hills.
Stretch Out Before You Set Out
Ok, you are at the park. You have your poles, backpack, and water. Before racing up to Angel’s Landing, take a few minutes to stretch out. Stretching can improve the blood flow and reduce your risk of injury. You will want to stretch your legs (front and back). Stretch your back, shoulders, and neck. You can find lots of good stretch demonstration videos on Youtube.
Dr. Andrew White
Chiropractor St George UT