I would be lying to you if I told you it was that time of the year everyone’s hitting the theme parks, so instead I’ll begin with this:
“It’s the time of the year millions of individuals are trying to recover from a sore and painful lower back”
Summer just ended, and spring was not too far out of distance; the two seasons of the year that adults and children flood the scenes of roller coasters, food stands, and a splurge of winning the next grand prize.
Although as summer has seen its last days. Amusement parks and carnivals are still populated, with families wanting to grab that last thriller before school takes full course.
Days at the theme park should be spent focusing on the next monster ride that will give you a quick burst of adrenaline, and a smile of joy, but that can’t always be justified.
Some roller coasters and extremely wild rides can summon havoc onto your spine, from top to bottom, and especially in your lower back.
Whether you have or don’t have lower back pain at this moment in time, with a little preparation, you’ll maximize your fun while minimizing lower back discomfort. In todays article, you’ll learn a couple key components, and these are:
- How will rollers coaster cause you pain?
- How to prevent back pain
- Your treatment steps
So Let’s get started!
How Will Roller Coasters Cause You Pain?
I’m going to spill it right out the gates…
Roller coasters and other high impact rides that knowingly and forcefully throw your body in different directions will be hard on your lower back and neck. After you’ve passed phase 1 and 2, which is the ticket stand, and ticket cut off, almost immediately you’ll spot a sign in front of you that warns you to avoid certain rides.
One look above our head is usually all it takes to spark our curiosity about a ride. A thrilling ride could seem like a next level fun, but roller coasters can cause you pain in your:
- lower back
- soft tissues’
- trauma to your bones
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the next speed of wind rush passing peeling back the face of my skin inside, but is the push and pull of a ride going to keep you from enjoying the length of the coaster?
The mechanics and physics of the ride will help you understand what is happening while on your adventure. Whether your moving forward on a straight path or on the down hill slope part of the ride, the momentum will carry you forward, causing you to bend, causing what is known as forward flexion of your spine.
This movement along with twisting and rotating from sudden turns, will increase pressure depth all targeted at your lower back spine.
The pressure you will feel shifts from your spine to your disc(invertebral disc), and that can do a couple things to you, depending on your circumstances:
- Cause spasms that can lead to a degenerative disc or herniated disc
- Cause further problems to your herniated disc
- You develop a bulging disc(or make it worse)
- Muscle Strain and Muscle Spasms
If you are someone with history of back problems, all it takes is one movement to set off and aggravate your arthritis pain, disc, or muscle spasms.
Roller coasters are ever so increasing in technology, and now you can find anything from wooden taking partnerships with steel, and more advanced steel and aluminum projections.
And now they come with small and large loops, massive drops, spins, rapid acceleration, and other lip bitting, binging and tingling chills.
What happened to the times when a roller coaster was applauded for their comforting approach? Sure times have changed, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck in the past.
How To Prevent Back Pain And Further Injury
Remember how I pointed out that most theme park entrances have a sign suggesting if you have conditions that you should not ride?…Listen to them.
Always keep in mind that taking off is an option, and that landings are mandatory, so before you hit the next line, think to yourself:
Is this a great idea?
If you have lower back pain that is causing your spine problems, don’t think twice. I know you have a burning desire, and your friends or family are all raving about how this ride is going to be awesome…
You‘ll hear things like:
- It’ll be the ride of your life
- This is what I came here for
- You‘ll be okay
Don’t feed into the hype of talk. Trust your first instinct and stick to it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been through this.
Back when back problems were just a minor spasm or for non-specific reasons like my hips, hamstrings, buttocks, tailbone causing me to hurt in my spine, I would have said Let’s do it. But ever since my pain shot up from acute to chronic pain, I’ve had to re-think my selections.
I remember one time avoiding roller coasters all together, and opting for the lower impact activities like walking, and ground games.
But if you’rem clear for take off, you’ll want to make sure you do a couple things ahead of time. Stretch thoroughly, and make sure you go through some back strengthening exercises.
What stretching does for you is it relives you of muscle tightness, and will reduce your chance of a muscle spasm in the middle of the ride.
Here are other things you’ll want to do:
- Drink Plenty of water. Drinking water will bring rich blood flow nutrients and oxygen throughout your blood vessels, and will hydrate your spinal disc. If you have less water, you run the chance of your vertebrae running into contact with your disc
- Look at your seat. Most seats on a ride will look particularly alike. But if you look closely there are simple seats with the added padding for your back. Try it out, see how comfortable you are in it, make sure you’re not slouching, and that you can keep your back straight in proper straight posture.
- Roller coasters are now designed to have over the shoulder belts, as well as a bar that locks down in front of you. Use the shoulder straps as leverage to keep you tight back in place, and the bar locks from having to move your thighs, pelvis, and from bending forward. What I do is fully extend my arms and place both hands on the bar so that i re frame from pulling forward
- Fix your eyes on the track. Keeping your eyes on the next turn will help you anticipate each loop or turn.
- Hold your head locked in. Some rides accelerate with extreme force, and they can pick up velocity over 45mph. So try your best to keep the back of your head on the back seat
- Don’t lean in. Leaning forward can lead to irritation in your back side, and that can mean bad news for your disc.
Now all that’s left for you to do is sit back, relieve your mind, and enjoy your ride. And when I say sit back, I truly mean sit back.
Your Treatment Plan Of Attack
Now that you know how to prevent a lower back pain, Let’s learn how you can treat what already exist.
The driving force of your back pain comes from inflammation. So the first line of a solid defense is to take anti-infalmmatory medicine, creams, or ice packs. If you feel the pain right after your ride, immediately get to a first aid kit, or reach for your pills. All of these options will temporarily(short-term) provide relief. However, if you feel your back to continuously ache, seek help from your doctor immediately.
Once you get into the park, consider renting out an electronic vehicle too. You can ride in some style and save your back from a strain.
Make Your Next Thriller One To Remember
As a kid, there was no better place to be then your local amusement park. The latest ride had to be tested out, with no if and or but. It’s always been one of the best passive times, and still is to this day. But what once were simplistic roller coasters, have now become a rush to a new planet.
Now being an adult, that fun doesn’t need to go away, but it does not to be tamed. Your lower back is a delicate mechanism, and it needs constant taking care of in the most extreme situations, one of these being on a ride.
Along with understanding roller coasters a little better, you’ve learned how they can cause you pain, how to prevent that, and how you can go about treating yourself.
If you need further help, or you have a question, please leave me a comment below. I’ll be more than happy to help you, and I’ll get back to you right away!