Charleston is beautiful city on the coast of South Carolina where one of the main hobbies and sources of entertainment is boating. Many individuals, young and old, enjoy spending the day in the sun with friends and family and getting out on the water for activities, such as a short cruise around the Charleston Harbor or an offshore fishing trip. Taking the boat out is a popular activity and an enjoyable act during the warm months or even during the colder season bundled up. While boating can be an enjoyable activity for tourists and locals alike, so can the back pain experienced by individuals after a ride on the sea.
Understanding the Cause of the Pain:
Because of the impact on the spine, one can wake up in significant pain after a long day on the water. Boaters typically spend time bending, lifting, climbing, tossing, and absorbing the shock from the chop, which can create stress on the spine. While new and seasoned boaters can both be subject to this pain, check out a few tips to help understand the source of back pain from boating and several tips to help reduce back pain.
Spine Safety Tips While Boating:
- Be Conscious of Your Footwear: While flip flops are an easy footwear option for a day on the boat, they do not provide proper support. Consider wearing shoes with non-slip soles, such as a tennis shoe, to provide comfort and support while onboard and to help prevent slipping.
- Limit or Avoid Alcohol: While enjoying a beverage on a hot day can be relaxing, alcohol consumption can increase your likelihood of falling or injury while on the boat. Be conscious of your alcohol intake or avoid it altogether to help decrease the likelihood of injury.
- Ride Comfortably: Consider sitting or standing near the stern to help you experience less bouncing. With smaller vessels, this is important because movement is felt more.
- Change Positions: Because boating can include sitting or standing for long periods of time, consider changing positions frequently to keep your muscles moving and avoid muscle stiffness.
- Move with the Water: When you are on rough or choppy waters or see a large wake ahead, try bending your knees to absorb some of the shock and engage your abdominal muscles to support your back.
If you have experienced a back injury while boating or your pain is interfering with your quality of life, consider completing our Pain Assessment Tool (https://www.signespine.com/contents/pain-assessment) and letting us help you identify the source of your pain for possible treatments.
For an appointment with Dr. Dan Nemeth, please call 843-730-4124.