A trip to the amusement park is fun and exciting, but it can end in more tears than laughter if you hurt your back or neck. Jerky rides and quick movements can lead to whiplash or an aching back. The following tips can help you survive the ride while having pain-free fun.
Tip #1: Check with your chiropractor or doctor
If you have been under a chiropractor's care in the past for a back problem, such as a herniated disc, make sure to check in before you head to the park. They can give you a quick checkup to make sure everything is healed and ready to ride. They may also be able to provide you with advice customized to your specific health needs to help you avoid injury, such as which types of rides to avoid or stretches to do before riding to prevent injury.
Tip #2: Use the grab bars
Rides that drop or move quickly tend to have grab bars to hold on to. These may be in front of you or on the shoulder harness. Although it's common practice to raise your arms to increase the thrill, for the health of your back hold firmly onto the grab bars. These are there to prevent you from raising up, twisting, or slamming into your seat as the ride progresses.
Tip #3: Keep your head back
If a ride has a headrest, use it. This is specifically there to guard against whiplash, and many are preformed to cradle your head so it doesn't move much. Lean your head back so it is in full contact with the rest for the duration of the ride, and you won't experience the pain of having your head suddenly thrown back and the neck muscles strained. For this reason alone, you may want to forego some older roller coasters that don't offer head supports in their seats.
Tip #4: Don't close your eyes
It may seem less scary to have your eyes closed, but this leads to surprises for your body as it is jerked around without warning. Instead, keep your eyes open and focused in front of you so your body can subconsciously brace for what is coming next. If you are prone to back issues, may want to skip rides that take you backwards since you won't be able to take advantage of the subconscious bracing of seeing the track.
Contact a local chiropractor like Hiler Chiropractic and Vax-D Decompression Center if you need more help or advice before heading to the amusement park.