How to Protect Your Spine While Swimming and Diving During the Summer
Swimming is the ultimate summertime cool down activity, especially in Florida. Indeed, when the summer sun is shining bright, nothing beats a day in the water. However, there are several potential safety hazards that come with swimming. While drowning is typically at the top of the list of pool safety concerns, spinal cord injuries from diving accidents are also a very significant danger to summertime swimmers.
3 Steps to Save Your Spine While Swimming
According to the National Spinal Cord Statistical Center, swimming and diving accidents are the fourth leading cause of spinal injuries, with more than 1,800 diving accident cases each year—many resulting in full paralysis.
Here are some ways to protect your spine while swimming and diving during the summer.
Check water depth
Always check the depth of the water before diving in. Sunlight can distort depth perception so what looks deep may actually be shallow. Experts suggest that the safest depths to dive are 10 to 12 feet. If swimming in a lake or river, inspect the water’s depth and ensure there are no logs, stumps, or debris at the bottom. Also be sure there are no obstacles in your swimming pool before jumping in.
Never dive head-first into murky natural waters as anything could be lying just beneath the surface. Depth and visibility should always be physically assessed before swimming by carefully entering the body of water. Also, never dive into an unlit pool at night.
Alcohol can really hamper your decision-making abilities, as well as your depth and spatial perception. Avoid swimming while drinking, and never dive drunk.
Maintain a Healthy Spine This Summer
If you follow the tips listed above, you can expect to maintain your spine’s health and avoid spinal injury this summer. However, if a diving or swimming accident does happen, there are a number of back injury treatments available from the team of specialists and physicians at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. Our back injury treatments include:
Your Swimming and Diving Back Injury Treatment Specialists
If you’ve experienced a back injury or another type of orthopaedic ailment while swimming, our team at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine is here to help you regain mobility and get back to a pain-free lifestyle. To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or give us a call at 904-825-0540.
BRIAN HAYCOOK, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Haycook has specific expertise in the latest treatment of spine related injuries.