Your game plan for tailgating with back pain
Your favorite jersey is washed and ready to go. The foldable chairs and cooler are packed. You’re getting pumped up for game day … until those familiar symptoms start to cause major interference. When it comes to neck or back pain during football season, it’s important to make sure your head is in the game — even if you aren’t playing. Add these tips to your tailgating strategy to help keep painful flare-ups on the sidelines:
Don’t ride the bench
You should take some time to warm up even if you aren’t heading out on the field. Whether you’re standing at the grill, sitting on a tailgate with your crew or even tossing the ball around, it’s important to stretch before, during and after the big game. Quick and simple movements, like shoulder rolls and hamstring stretches, can prevent neck or back pain from setting in. Switching between sitting or standing positions may also keep muscle tension on the sidelines.
Rethink your snack strategy
As tempting as that bowl of beer cheese dip is, inflammatory snacks can aggravate your current neck or back symptoms and lead to excess weight gain. Bringing your own dishes can help you avoid getting tackled by inflammatory food. Try our loaded guacamole recipe for a healthy snack that will fill you up:
- 1 large avocado
- 1 cup shredded baked chicken
- ¼ cup cooked corn kernels
- ¼ cup diced tomato
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
The great thing about guacamole is you can add as much or as little of your favorite ingredients as you’d like — and the carotenoids in avocado bring major defense against inflammation. We suggest doubling or tripling the recipe depending on the size of your tailgating team!
You may have filled that gigantic cooler by yourself, but that doesn’t mean you should lift it on your own. And a bulging or herniated disc due to improper technique could be the end of your tailgating fun. Grab your teammates when transporting heavy items, like coolers, grills and tents, and be sure everyone is using the right lifting and bending techniques to set up camp. Remember to lift using your knees, not your lower back.
Nobody wants to sit on the sidelines during game day fun. If these tips and other conservative treatments haven’t been the best defense against chronic neck or back pain, make the call to Laser Spine Institute today. Our Care Team can help you come up with a winning strategy for your next step to relief.