How to enjoy a theme park when you have back pain

Living with neck or back pain can leave you feeling like your quality of life is limited. You may feel like neck or back pain impedes your life even more during the summer months. Your friends want to go to a theme park, and you want to go, too. However, you’re not sure your back can handle being whipped around by a roller coaster.

Even a ride as mild as a kiddie coaster can jar a bad back. Rolling on the coasters is more than likely not a good idea but you can still enjoy the park in other ways. These tips and tricks may get you through a fun-filled day at a theme park sans the back pain and boredom.

Talk with your teammates. Have an honest conversation with your friends and family before you solidify your plans to join them on their theme park outing. Make sure they know that you will need to take frequent breaks and may not be able to keep up with their pace. Most people will be happy to accommodate your needs so that you can enjoy the trip, too!

Be prepared. Visiting a theme park with back pain implies that you have to be more prepared than your counterparts are. You have to think things through a little more to ensure you don’t find yourself in debilitating back pain halfway through the day. Take some ibuprofen before you enter the park; this will help limit inflammation. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, too. Forego trying to look cute for pictures. You may even consider sporting a back brace for added protection from crowds and for additional support. Once you get to the park, consider renting an electronic convenience vehicle (ECV), too. You can ride in style and save your back some strain.

Fill up on other adventures. Theme parks, though scattered with speeding roller coasters and jaw-dropping rides, have a lot more to offer than just a whirlwind of thrill-seeking adventures. Many theme parks have exceptional shows, animal encounters and shopping throughout the park. Look through the map and plan your day based on the other fun-filled adventures the park has to offer.

Stop and stretch. Depending on your pain level, you may not be able to keep up with your friends and family. And that’s OK. Take frequent breaks to stretch out your muscles to keep them limber. Also, remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. A lack of water can lead to tired and cramped muscles. If you find yourself standing in line for a long time, consider finding a place to sit down. You will also need to take breaks to reapply sunscreen and grab some food – try to keep it healthy!

Read the signs. If you decide that your back can handle a roller coaster, make sure you read the signs. Theme parks post warnings at the entrance to every ride. If the sign notes that people with back pain shouldn’t ride, heed the advice. Even if the ride looks mild, there may be an abrupt turn, loop or drop that will shake your spine. The thrill isn’t worth the risk of a lingering backache.

Visiting a theme park can still be fun even if you can’t ride the roller coasters. Keep your thoughts positive and simply enjoy this time that you have with your friends and family.

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