As we travel and try new activities this summer injuries may occur. Some will happen dramatically like when a person falls off a jet ski others will happen more insidiously from long car rides, lugging multiple bags on one shoulder or from walking on soft sand. Yes, sometimes the unevenness of soft sand can cause ankle, knee or low back discomfort. Don’t let the chance of mild injuries stop you from having fun or trying new things. There a few things to help minimize the risk or alleviate minor to mild discomfort.
1) Stay hydrated. There isn’t much research to support 8 glasses of water a day. However, water is crucial. The balance is recognizing thirst and being able to alleviate it with water (not fruit juice, sodas or alcohol) and not having to get up in the middle of night to use the bathroom. Uninterrupted sleep in important as well. Starting the day off with cold water is wise. In some cultures hot water is preferred but there is no research to support that hot water is more advantageous for hydration or to prevent stomach upset. If you have any of that research please share it with me. Hydration can help alleviate stiffness in the joints.
2) Support when traveling. A rolled up towel placed in the small of the back for long car rides can do wonders to decrease low back discomfort. Taking breaks to stop and stand should be planned into the trip as well. The use of the horseshoe pillow does seem to help decrease neck stiffness when traveling as well. You shouldn’t need it for a 20 minute ride to the grocery store.
3) Supportive shoes. You may not need orthotics and flip flop like sandals are fine when walking short distances for many people will be fine. For farther distances wearing a shoe with a heel is the most beneficial as well as resoling or replacing worn shoes.
If after a tumble on the trampoline or hiking in Shenandoah national park has left you achy with no relief from home remedies please make an appointment. Personally I recommend giving it 48 hours to resolve. In those 48 hours if you get worse or the symptoms do not abate make an appointment.