You don’t have to be a bonafide roller coaster enthusiast to appreciate the thrill of enduring rapid twists and turns at high speeds. However, all the whooshing and swooshing can also be an unexpected source of back and neck pain if you’re not mindful of a few things before you take the ride. The staff at The Spine Institute Center in Santa Monica offers a few tips on preventing back and neck pain caused by a roller coaster ride.
Do a Few Quick Stretches
Reduce the risk of muscle strain, the main cause of back and neck pain, by stretching before getting on a coaster. Stretches can be as simple as doing a few side-to-side neck movements or slow mid-body turns to stretch the latissimus dorsi and trapezius muscles that support your spine.
Drink Plenty of Water
Bring some water with you to the amusement park, especially if you’re going on a hot and humid day. Staying hydrated helps your spine and its supporting spongy discs function properly.
Watch What You Eat Beforehand
Make an effort to watch what you eat if you know you’ll soon be spending the day on multiple coaster rides. Sugary foods in particular can affect the blood vessels that deliver nutrients to the spine, and they also increase susceptibility to back and neck aches after a ride.
Know When to Call It a Day
Though you may be tempted to get back on again after finishing a roller coaster ride, taking occasional breaks to walk around and stretch can give your spine time to readjust. If you experience back or neck pain after a few rides, call it a day so you can give your soft tissues time to heal.
Maximize your fun and stay away from roller coasters that are excessively fast or steep if you have a history of back and neck pain. Report any new discomfort, including pain that appears or gets worse a day or so after you’ve gotten off the coaster, to a board-certified back and neck doctor.
Whatever the cause of your back and neck pain, the expert surgeons at The Spine Institute can help diagnose your condition and come up with the necessary solution for treatment, which may include procedures like Mobi-C disc replacement, spinal decompression, or extreme lateral interbody fusion. Call our office today at 310-828-7757 and start taking the steps toward a pain-free life.