Summer and Back Pain
Unlike many health conditions, back pain does not require an underlying disease to produce symptoms. Too much or too little exercise, improper lifting techniques, prolonged sitting, standing, or lying down, uncomfortable sleeping positions, lugging around heavy bags, carrying babies and toddlers…all these things can contribute to pain in your arms, shoulders, upper back, lower back, and legs. And it doesn’t matter what your age, race, ethnicity, or level of fitness is. Back pain can occur in anyone at any time of the year.
However, those who experience chronic back or joint pain may see an increase in symptoms or worse pain during the summer. Studies have not proven a clear connection between weather and pain, but some believe heat, humidity, and changes in barometric pressure can positively or negatively impact your pain level.
One of the greatest challenges in making the connection is the interpretation of pain. Pain is subjective. Jane may have a higher tolerance than Mary even when their symptoms and lifestyle are identical.
So when temperatures sore and humidity climbs, how can you beat the heat and reduce your back pain symptoms? The answer is simple: swim!
The Power of the Pool
Swimming is a summer staple. In fact, it’s one of the most popular recreational activities for adults, and the most popular recreational activity for children and teens. From relief from the heat to strength and conditioning, there are two main benefits of swimming:
Joining a gym is easy. Going to the gym less so. Rather than force yourself to exercise in a space you find intimidating or uncomfortable, visit your local pool! Pools are easily accessible any time of year. Try an outdoor pool like Kenmore, Brighton, Lincoln, Town Park, or Dingens Street, or an indoor pool like the Aquatic and Fitness Center or ECC Burt Flickinger Athletic Center. Or, for those with friends and family fortunate enough to have a pool gracing their backyard, see if they’ll let you visit a few times a week!
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that:
- Strengthens back and abdominal muscles.
- Strengthens back extension.
- Tones legs.
- Provides cardiovascular conditioning.
- Improves lung function.
Experienced runners jog not just on concrete or asphalt, but on grass, sand, and other soft surfaces that provide greater resistance. Swimming does the same thing. If you don’t feel comfortable swimming laps, walk around the shallow end. The water provides more resistance than air, allowing you to burn more calories and work your muscles harder. Another option is to take a water aerobics class, a form of cardiovascular fitness, which has shown to reduce lumbar and knee pain.
Make William Capicotto MD your first choice for surgery.
No one wants to sit indoors on a gorgeous summer day because of back or neck pain. If you experience lingering or worsening pain, we invite you to call our office to schedule a consultation. At William Capicotto, we restore motion to your spine so you can move on with your life.