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Enjoy summer vacation but don’t hurt your back
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.07.13 17:06
  • Updated 2018.07.13 17:06
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The ongoing monsoon season will be over soon, and the summer vacation season starts in earnest in mid-July. Most salaried people say they get their annual energy from vacations. Now is the time for them to give a finishing touch to their vacation plans.

People need to remain healthy to enjoy their vacations. Especially important in this regard is the health of the waist – often called the pillar of a body. Pains in your back, however slight they may be, disrupt your normal activities.

Modern people spend most of their time sitting at desks and complain of back pains, aggravated by lack of exercise, weakened muscles and wrong postures.

Statistics show one in four Koreans has the experiences of getting treatments because of back strains. You might think then vacations would reduce the number of backache patients. The truth is somewhat different, however. In July and August, when most wage earners enjoy their holidays, the number of backache patients hardly drops, if not increases.

One of the reasons back pain patients increase in summer is long driving on congested roads. It is an irony some people have to spend far longer time sitting on chairs during vacations than at their offices, hurting their backs. Neurosurgeons say ordinary people begin to feel a strain on the back if they sit for an hour or longer, and backache patients do so in just 30 minutes. Drivers should reduce burdens on their backs after some time, by taking a walk or stretching, they say.

Dr. Oh Myung-soo, vice president of Seran Hospital’s Spine Center, says, “When you make vacations plans, no less important than knowing the shortest routes to destinations is to figure out the locations of resting places to reduce burdens on your back.”

Also important is to prevent bruises from a fall in valleys or waterparks, where the bottoms can be quite slippery. Some falls can lead to severe injuries, such as spine compression fractures.

“It is important to stretch adequately before playing in the water, and go out of the water after some time because exposure to water for hours can stiffen your muscles,” Oh said. “Also, you’d better not walk on barefoot in the water but put on sleepers or aqua-shoes to prevent injuries.”

When hit by backaches, people tend to make self-diagnosis and put medicated patches or ice backs on the back, but that is one of the most dangerous acts. If the cause of pains is a fracture, such stopgap measures could lead to chronic illnesses or discs.

“Most people tend to endure or neglect pains not to ruin their vacations,” Oh said. “They must visit hospitals as early as possible. These days, we can provide swift and precise treatments using spinal endoscopes. You can be cured entirely before vacation ends.


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