For every skydive you make with us at Skydive St. Louis, we’ve got your back. But, what if you are not sure your own back is up to the task?
How Bad Is Your Bad Back?
Bad backs, like any “bad” body part, are often on a sliding scale. So, whether or not skydiving is bad for your back is going to depend on the particular back problems you have.
If you are the type that wakes up with a little stiffness on a chilly morning or are otherwise on the more “up and at ‘em” side of “bad back,” tandem skydiving shouldn’t cause you much, if any, trouble.
Typically, compared to many high-impact athletic activities, skydiving is pretty gentle on the body. However, if you have a history of back injury or have had back surgery in the past, it can change the situation dramatically. Having had a past injury or surgery does not mean unequivocally that you cannot skydive, but the risks are increased.
For example, if you have fused vertebrae or sport other plates and screws in your spine, the consequences from a hard opening or a bad landing—although, statistically, both are incredibly rare-—could be exponentially worse than someone without previous injury or surgery. As we said, statistically encountering either of these problems is slight, and although there are dangers associated with skydiving, as a result of improved training and advances in equipment, the sport is the safest it has ever been.
The only people who can truly determine if your bad back is good enough for skydiving will be you and your physician. To help determine whether your body is up to skydiving, here’s the rundown on what will be required on your tandem skydive.
What happens to your body when you skydive?
At its most basic level, skydiving is not particularly physically demanding. Although, there is a key move that you will need to perform to help freefall go smoothly. For a stable freefall in a tummy-to-earth orientation, the most essential move to master is the skydiving arch. Upon exiting the plane, you will need to engage your core and the muscles of your low back to push your pelvis and hip points forward all while keeping your head and chin tilted upward. The effect is that your body mimics the shape of a banana.
In order to prepare for the skydiving arch, you can practice ahead of time. Lay with your stomach on the floor and with a pillow beneath your pelvis. Breathe in and lift your head, chest, and legs off of the ground. It’s important to keep the neck nice and neutral to avoid unnecessary strain. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds, relax, and repeat.
Is skydiving bad for your body?
On the whole, skydiving has some incredible positive physical and mental benefits. Consistently jumping has been shown to help increase stamina, flexibility, and strength. Mentally, skydiving produces a feel-good chemical cocktail within the brain that results in general feelings of euphoria. While this rush may only last through the night, the other positive effects of skydiving on the brain last quite a bit longer.
Why make a skydive?
Tandem skydiving is the most accessible form of skydiving there is, and although there are exceptions, individuals with disabilities and other medical problems—including bad backs—can often take flight. Every day at Skydive St. Louis we show new jumpers, just like you, the joys that freefall can bring. At our facility, safety is the number one priority. From our staff of trained professionals to our excellent and proudly touted track record, and, of course, our impeccably maintained aircraft and equipment, we show our customers what it means to jump with a company that is committed to safety.