Are Trampolines Bad For Your Back?


If you are like me, sometimes when you jump on a trampoline, you get off feeling great.

Other times you get off the trampoline, your back hurts for the next few days.

This got me wondering if trampolines are bad for your back.

Trampolines are not bad for your back as long as you are careful in how you jump and that you have no pre-existing back conditions.

Follow the simple rules listed below to keep yourself from hurting your back on the trampoline.

Why trampolines are actually good for your back

Trampolines, as a whole, are actually good for your back and for your whole body.

According to the North Tampa Spine and Joint Center:

Jumping on the trampoline helps to strengthen your core muscles as you’re trying to improve balance and protect the spine from the vibrations. The pressure exerted on your body due to the impact is distributed throughout the body evenly. This shows that trampoline jumping distributes the effects of gravity and weight evenly on your shoulders, neck, head, and back. Trampoline jumping thus promotes a balanced approach to workout. Trampoline absorbs the force of impacts on the hard surface and prevents injuries. It not only strengthens your muscles, but also your bones.

Hence, trampoline jumping is beneficial and safe, if you’re performing right exercises and avoid exercises with certain health conditions

Effects of trampoline on spine – North Tampa Spine & Joint Center (northtampachiropractor.com)

So, jumping on a trampoline helps to build your core muscles, which in turn can also help to protect the spine.

It also helps to build the balance of your body.

Overall, as long as we do not have any health conditions that should preclude us from jumping on a trampoline, a trampoline should be perfectly safe on your back, since the impact is spread all throughout your body.

So why does my back hurt sometimes?

A trampoline works the muscles in your back, legs, and abdomen.

If your body is not used to using some of those muscles, you are going to end up with some pain.

Jumping on a trampoline can also sometimes get you to move in ways you wouldn’t normally use.

If that is the case, your body will be unfamiliar with the movement and thus lead to sore muscles.

So, in essence, try to stick to routines or movements you are used to on the trampoline.

And this is one of the reasons why most people suggest jumping on a trampoline by yourself.

With someone else jumping on the trampoline, this causes unexpected movements from both parties, since one person jumping at the right moment can cause the other person to fly higher into the air.

That was a game I used to play with my friends, where we would see how high we could make the other person go.

But this is not always safe to do.

Which leads to our next section.

The risk of spinal injury from jumping on a trampoline

I had a time once where I was jumping on a trampoline with some friends.

They were trying to get me higher in the air, while I was trying to do as many backflips as I could do.

It was all fun and games until the final backflip saw my flying off of the trampoline.

I landed on my back on top of a tree stump.

I was lucky I ended up laughing and getting up to walk away instead of getting taken away on a stretcher in an ambulance to the hospital.

There is a serious risk of suffering a spinal injury while playing on a trampoline if you are not careful.

There are many ways someone can hurt themselves on a trampoline if they are not careful.

I have seen plenty of videos online of someone trying to jump from a trampoline into a pool and landing on their back on the side of the pool instead of inside the pool.

Or someone doing a backflip and landing on the frame of the trampoline instead of the trampoline mat.

A trampoline can be very dangerous if not used properly.

According to GetTrampoline.com:

There are all sorts of scenarios that might occur and lead to serious back pain after jumping on a trampoline. Firstly, if you have a pre-existing condition, by jumping on a trampoline you can make it worse. Secondly, if you don’t do a proper warm-up, the chances are that you’ll strain your muscles and hurt yourself. Finally, and this is the worst case scenario, you can even fall from a trampoline and seriously injure your spinal cord.

However, if you do a proper warm-up and stay conscious of your movements while jumping, you’re good to go. Essentially, we’d recommend doing everything you can to protect yourself from injuries and reacting even at the slightest pain in your back.

Are Trampolines Good For Your Back? Causes of Back Pain on Trampolines (gettrampoline.com)

So, use the trampoline the way it was meant to (no backflips, do not use it to jump into other things, etc.) and do some stretching before you get on and that should help you avoid getting seriously hurt.

If you have a pre-existing condition that might be made worse by jumping on the trampoline, avoid jumping.

Pre-existing conditions to avoid the trampoline would include sciatica, pinched nerves, osteoporosis, fractures, degenerative disc, and herniated disc.

If you have any of the above, consult your doctor before jumping on the trampoline.

If you have suspected that someone has seriously injured their back while jumping on a trampoline, do not attempt to move them.

Moving someone when they have seriously injured their back can make the injury even worse.

So if you suspect someone injured their back, leave them where they are and try to keep them calm with you call 911.

And then wait for the ambulance to come pick them up.

What to do about back pain after jumping on a trampoline

Before you’ve gotten off the trampoline, you are going to know that your back hurt.

For me, my back hurting is typically the reason I am getting off the trampoline.

There are a few ways you can treat this back pain.

  1. Treat yourself to a hot shower.

Get in a hot shower and allow the hot water to run directly onto the affected area of the back.

Hot water helps to relax the muscles, which in turn helps to alleviate the pain.

Once out of the shower, you can also apply some heat directly to the affected area by either applying a lavabag (found here), a heat pad (found here), or some cream, such as icy-hot.

Apply either the bag, pad, or cream and put your body is a relaxing position and allow the heat to go to work.

After some time, your pain should go away or at least give you some relief.

If the pain persists, consider making an appointment with a chiropractor or massage therapist.

Summary

Jumping on a trampoline can actually be very healthy for you and for your back.

The rebounding motion on the trampoline strengthens your muscles and improves your balance.

Spending twenty minutes a day on the trampoline can give you quite the exercise.

But make sure to be careful on the trampoline and not perform any stunts, such as backflips, without proper training.

If your muscles hurt after jumping, apply a lava bag or heating pad to the trouble area until the pain goes away.

Bill Lantz

Bill Lantz is a database analyst by day and a weekend warrior by... weekend. He's currently building up his own miniature homestead in Central Utah with his wife and six kids. Some of his interests include knowing random trivia about films, reading history books, and playing video games with the boys.

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