Sophisticated Legal Guidance For All

Yes, roller coasters can lead to back injuries

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Serious Injuries

Roller coasters are a thrilling feature of any amusement park. These attractions offer crazy speeds, gut-wrenching corkscrews and hairpin turns that guarantee a jolt of adrenaline.

While such rides are fun and exciting, they also present the possibility of back injury. Park attendees would do well to educate themselves about this overlooked topic.

The impact on the spine

The human spinal column remains susceptible to extreme forces and abrupt changes in direction. When a roller coaster plunges downward or whips around a corner, it subjects the riders to high levels of gravitational force. This pressure can affect the back, leading to significant pain and injury.

One common issue includes the muscles around the spine stretching too far and tearing. Herniated discs are even more worrying. They occur when the cushioning between the spine’s vertebrae shifts out of place. Sometimes, the spine can wrench out of alignment, leading to chronic discomfort.

Who is at risk?

Though anyone can suffer a back injury from enjoying a roller coaster, some are more susceptible than others. Those who have pre-existing conditions should be especially cautious. Older adults and thrill seekers who are physically inactive may also be in greater danger since their spines and muscles are not as flexible or strong.

Preventing back injuries

All riders should read the coaster’s warnings and restrictions. Naturally, parks are responsible for posting these notices where they are easy to see, and the language they use must be understandable to everyone. Keeping one’s head against the seat and holding the handrails can reduce the odds of trouble, as does strengthening back muscles through exercise.

Roller coasters are an unparalleled passion for many. That said, one must recognize the potential for harm. The chance of back injury climbs higher when coasters do not receive proper maintenance or have poor design.