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Why Does My Back Pain Get Worse in Summer? 5 Ways To Fix It

Man who's back pain is worse in summer

If you’re reading this, your back pain probably increases in the summer, feeling like an unwelcome partner, especially during the summer months as you’re eager to enjoy vacations, weddings, and other outdoor activities.

The discomfort that accompanies each step can be incredibly disheartening, transforming joyful moments into painful endeavors.

If you find yourself struggling with back pain that seems to intensify as the temperature rises, know that you’re not alone—and more importantly, there is hope.

This blog aims to shed light on why back pain often worsens during summer and offers practical, effective strategies to help you manage and alleviate this discomfort.

Let’s dive in and discover how you can reclaim your summer, free from the grip of back pain.

The Link Between Back Pain and Summer

The heat of summer can exacerbate back pain for several reasons.

The combination of increased physical activity, dehydration, and heat-induced muscle fatigue can create a perfect storm for discomfort.

Here’s why:

  1. Increased Activity Levels: Summer is a time for hiking, gardening, sports, and travel. While these activities are great for your health, they can also put additional strain on your back, especially if your muscles aren’t adequately prepared.
  2. Dehydration: The summer heat makes you sweat more, which can lead to dehydration. When your body is dehydrated, your muscles and joints can become stiff and painful, exacerbating any existing back issues.
  3. Heat-Induced Muscle Fatigue: High temperatures can cause your muscles to tire more quickly. This fatigue can make it harder for your back to support your activities, leading to increased pain and discomfort.
  4. Prolonged Sitting: Whether it’s a long car ride to your vacation spot or sitting through summer events, prolonged sitting can worsen back pain, especially if you’re not sitting correctly.
  5. Sleep Disruptions: Hot, humid nights can interfere with your sleep, preventing your body from getting the rest it needs to repair and rejuvenate. Poor sleep can exacerbate pain and reduce your ability to cope with discomfort.

5 Ways to Fix Back Pain in Summer

Now that we understand why back pain can worsen during the summer, let’s explore five effective strategies to manage and alleviate this discomfort.

Stay Hydrated

This may sound obvious, but hydration is key to keeping your muscles and joints healthy, especially in the heat.

Make a habit of drinking water throughout the day. Aim for at least eight glasses, and more if you’re active or sweating a lot.

Keeping a water bottle with you can help remind you to drink regularly.

Proper hydration can prevent muscle cramps and stiffness, ensuring your back stays flexible and pain-free.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Before engaging in any physical activity, take the time to warm up your muscles. Gentle stretching and light aerobic exercises can prepare your body for the demands of summer activities. Afterward, a cool-down routine that includes stretching can help prevent muscle tightness and soreness. Here’s a simple warm-up you can try:

  • Arm Circles: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and swing your arms in small circles, gradually making the circles larger.
  • Leg Swings: Hold onto a stable surface and swing one leg forward and backward, then side to side. Repeat with the other leg.

For a cool-down, try:

  • Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the ground with one leg extended and the other bent. Reach toward your toes, holding for 20-30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
  • Lower Back Stretch: Lie on your back and bring both knees to your chest, gently rocking side to side to stretch the lower back.

Use Proper Posture

Whether you’re sitting, standing, or lifting, maintaining proper posture is crucial for preventing back pain.

When sitting, especially for long periods, use a chair that supports your lower back. Keep your feet flat on the floor and avoid slouching.

When standing, keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet.

And when lifting, always bend at the knees and use your legs to lift, not your back.

This will help reduce the strain on your spine and muscles.

Incorporate Regular Exercise

Regular exercise strengthens the muscles that support your spine, improves flexibility, and boosts overall health.

Focus on low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking, or cycling, which are gentle on your back.

Additionally, incorporate core-strengthening exercises like planks and bridges into your routine to build a strong foundation for your back.

Here’s a simple core workout:

  • Planks: Hold a plank position for 20-30 seconds, gradually increasing the time as you get stronger.
  • Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeeze your glutes, and hold for a few seconds before lowering back down. Repeat 10-15 times.

Get Quality Sleep

Ensuring you get enough quality sleep is vital for your body’s recovery process.

Create a comfortable sleep environment by keeping your room cool, using supportive pillows, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.

If you struggle with sleeping due to back pain, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees to keep your spine aligned, or on your back with a pillow under your knees to reduce lower back strain.

By implementing these strategies, you can manage and alleviate back pain, allowing you to fully enjoy your summer activities.

Remember, small changes can make a big difference, and consistency is key.

Say Goodbye To Summer Back Pain With Balance Within PT

Incorporating these strategies into your daily routine can offer significant relief from back pain and help you fully enjoy your summer activities. Remember, consistency is key.

Even a few minutes each day can make a monumental difference in how you feel.

At Balance Within PT, we are committed to guiding you through each step of your journey to better health.

If you’re looking for personalized guidance or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Let’s help you embrace a summer full of movement, joy, and comfort, free from back pain.

Remember, taking proactive steps towards managing your back pain can lead to a happier, more active life.

Let’s start this journey together today.

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AUTHOR

Doctors Jereme and Sarah Trunk

Balance Within Integrative Physical Therapy

We Help People Looking For Physical Therapy In Delafield & Beyond Find LASTING Solutions to Aches & Pains NATURALLY… So They Can Get Back to the Active Lifestyle They Want
(...without unnecessary medications or surgeries)
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