Summer is a time for fun and travel, and many families choose to take their summer trips to amusement parks both near and far. Your family may be planning a trip to one of the Disney parks, or you may be driving down to Denver to Elitch Gardens, but whatever the case may be, it’s important to understand the impact that roller coasters and other rides can have on your spine. At the Colorado Spine Institute (CSI) in Loveland, we can help you understand your back pain and the risks associated with amusement parks. We want you to have fun this summer, but not at the expense of your back!
Twists, Turns, Loops, and Lift
One of the thrills that amusement parks provide is the adrenaline one feels when they’re twisting, turning, looping, or lifting through the air. The feeling of weightlessness or a sudden change of direction makes your heart pound, but rides that forcefully move your body around can cause damage to your neck and lower back. Those who have had problems with herniated or bulging discs in their spinal column can exacerbate issues that can leave them sidelined for the rest of their vacation. Those with spinal osteoarthritis can experience increased pain, and their summer fun can quickly evaporate even after just one ride.
Weigh Your Options
You may have loved theme parks when you were younger, but now that you’re older, it’s important to weigh your options when visiting a park. There may be signs warning those with health issues to avoid a certain ride, and while the adrenaline rush may be worth it, the lingering pain may not. You may be able to stretch and prepare your back for a ride that moves and jerks, but it’s always best to consult with your doctor about how much your spine can take. It may be better for you to catch a show at the park or plan to stick to the tamer rides throughout the day.
Even if your doctor gives you the go-head to ride your favorite roller coaster, it’s important to take measures to prevent against injury. We recommended stretching, and you may need to bring anti-inflammatory medication with you to guard against pain. Again, if there’s risk to furthering damage to your spine or creating more internal problems in your back, it’s a good idea to stay grounded as much as you can. Even the “kiddie” rides that you enjoy with your children and grandchildren can leave you flat for the rest of your vacation (not to mention that you’ll have to travel home in a car or plane following your trip).
If you live in Northern Colorado and you’re thinking of taking a trip to an amusement park this summer, don’t let back pain derail your plans. Make an appointment with CSI in Loveland today, and we’ll help pinpoint the cause of your pain, what the risks associated with thrill rides can be, and how you can keep yourself from injury.