How To Watch Your Spine When Out Surfing
Now that we are in the middle of summer, there is nothing that sums up being Australian more than catching a few waves out on our surfboards. Surfing is one of the most popular hobbies for us Aussies, and although most of us are excellent at worrying about things such as sunblock, and wearing the proper clothing, many of us do not realise the risk and strain we are placing our spines under.
Up until relatively recently, there was very little research undertaken on the injuries directly attributable to professional surfers. That changed when life-long surfer, and chiropractor, Dr Andrew Burgess, embarked on an extensive study of injuries caused by surfing.
As well as the injuries themselves, his study also took into account the type of surfboard being used, such as shortboards, longboards, and bodyboards. In Dr. Burgess’ opinion previous studies had simply classed surfers into one huge group, rather than identifying the differences between each different type of surfer.
The study revealed some interesting statistics; 81% of surfers for instance received at least one surfing related injury, during their lifetime. While a staggering 58% of people had suffered from a surfing-related injury during the current season. Perhaps unsurprisingly lower back injuries were the most common type reported by surfers. One of the more surprising statistics was that only 44% of surfers had sought professional treatment for any injuries received during the current season.
Both physical and mental health scores of the surfers who took part in the study were high, their diets were balanced and well-maintained, and their average alcohol consumption was also below the average for an Australian.
Surfing is a strenuous and physical activity, and as a consequence, there is never going to be a way of totally negating the risk. However, the tips listed below will help surfers to minimize the chances of injuring or straining your back.
1 Proper Warm Up
Although it can be very tempting to run into the waves and enjoy the action, the importance of a proper warm-up cannot be underestimated. Try to complete about 10 to 15 minutes of light exercise, and mobility work, before entering the water. This small time investment can save you a lot of pain and problems in the future.
2 Proper Hydration
Just because you are outside on in the sea, always ensure that you are properly hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help to reduce the effects of heat and cramping, and will also speed up the recovery process.
3 Always Stretch Properly
A guided stretching program should also form an important part of your surfing routine. For anyone unsure about how to perform their stretches the Straighten Up (Australia ) App, comes highly recommended. Stretching when done correctly can help to improve spinal health, stabilize core muscles, and enhance health. Stretching, allows the muscles to loosen up, and may even help prevent sports injuries.
The importance of looking after your body cannot be underestimated, whether you surf professionally or recreationally.
Bearing in mind that the most common injury that surfers suffer from are lower back injuries, visiting a chiropractor could be an astute investment. A good chiropractor can help alleviate the severity of pain and damage to the spine.
For more information on maintaining spinal health and to book an appointment visit our chiropractor today.