Frolicking in the water during those hot summer days is not just a great way to have fun; there’s no better way to beat the heat! Unfortunately, all that summertime water fun carries risks, and if you’re not careful, you can find yourself in pain and having to interrupt the festivities with an unexpected trip to your doctor or chiropractor.

Some waterborne activities carry more risks than others, so if you’re planning on being on the water this summer, take extra care. Below, you’ll find a short list of some of the more common injuries certain watersports can lead to, and how to best treat them:

• Tubing or rafting – If you’ve never been whitewater rafting, you owe it to yourself to try it, but be warned: if you encounter whitewater (class 3-4 rapids), your body will take a beating. It’s fun, but the sudden chop can cause sprains in your neck, and possibly even whiplash.

The best defense here is prevention, so don’t take on a more challenging course than you’re prepared for. If you do find yourself with a sore back or neck after, use cold, not heat to help bring the swelling down. If the pain persists for more than a day, visit your local chiropractor, as putting it off or ignoring it can only worsen your condition.

• Skiing – Here, the most common injuries are to the ankles (although head and neck injuries can also occur), because they’re attached to the skis, and if you fall over, it’s going to inevitably stress your ankles, resulting in a strain or sprain.

From a prevention standpoint, your best bet is to go slower on windy days with more chop, and be sure you’ve exercised to build up your leg and ankle strength before skiing. If you find yourself in pain, see your doctor or chiropractor to put yourself on the fast track to healing.

• Jet Skiing – Here, you run the risk of head, neck and back injuries if you topple over, because you may wind up hitting your head on the equipment as you fall, so cuts, bruises and abrasions are not uncommon. If you hit a big wave, you can also suffer a neck sprain or whiplash.

Again, going slower on windy days and not crossing boat wakes will minimize your risk, but if you fall, especially if you suffer neck pain immediately after, don’t delay a visit to your local chiropractor.
Summertime offers endless possibilities for fun, but if you’re not careful, all that fun can put you out of commission. Be mindful of that, and have a plan for if and when you get hurt so that you can minimize your downtime and get back out there!