Some people simply cannot go without the thrill. They are not content with the challenges that everyday life brings. Always seeking more, they find satisfaction in extreme sports, with the crown jewel of bungee jumping being at the top of the list. Can bungee jumping help your back? There are some specific situations where a bungee jump can be good and bad for health, learning about it is key.
There are some concerns that bungee jumping can be a health hazard. Injuries certainly can happen. However, whether you make sure that you adjust your equipment correctly, bungee jumping can benefit you mentally but having a positive physical impact on the body, particularly the back, is notably rare.
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An Adrenaline Rush
Extreme sports fans often call themselves adrenaline junkies. That occurs because the chemical substance consists of epinephrine, a product of adrenalin glands. This hormone has a role to prepare our bodies for situations in which we must react fast and respond to potential danger.
Whether the danger is real or not, our bodies will decide whether we can fight or fly. The adrenalin will speed up heart rate, increase the concentration of glucose in the blood, elevate the body temperature, etc. It is this state of mind that adrenaline junkies seek, as the thrill will shake them up and cause an addictive adrenaline rush.
The Origin of Bungee Jumping
The Vanuatu islands in the Pacific were inhabited over 3300 years ago. Europeans first discovered them at the beginning of the 17th century. At the time, the native tribes had their own culture and customs that were significantly different from the Europeans. One of those customs had a connection to the process of initiation through which every boy had to go through for the community to accept him as a grown adult.
The ritual was that the entire tribe would come to the tallest tree in the area. The boy, or the initiate, would climb to the top to tie an elastic liana. He would then tie the other side and around his ankles and was supposed to jump hoping that the liana would break his fall. Based on the experience of other tribe members it was not supposed to be too long. Therefore the young boys would survive the ceremony with minor injuries.
The time and origin of this practice are unknown. However, it was certainly present long before white explorers came to the islands. Over time it became an interesting practice and an extreme sport.
Jumping Without Permission
By the end of the 70s of the last century, perspective scholars David Kirk and Simon King were members of the Oxford Extreme Sports Club. The two of them performed the first-ever, formal bungee jump on 1st April 1979.
What Is Bungee Jumping?
Bungy jumping is an individual practice where the jumper storms head down toward any surface and are aggressively pulled up by an elastic rope’s tension. However, the jumper does not touch the ground.
There are artificial and natural starting points where people can go to perform a jump. This can include virtually any surface that is high enough from the ground, and distant from any objects the jumper can crash into.
A lot of preparation should be put into planning a jump, and the lovers of this sport should be active in other disciplines as well. Building up resilience and stamina can significantly improve the jumping experience. However, it will not alter the fact that this activity is still very extreme.
Health Hazard Activity
Even though it is an awesome activity for extreme sports lovers, it can bring you certain health hazards, and can rarely even lead to death. This is the reason people say that this sport is not for the faint of heart. According to University specialists, there have been some specific and reoccurring injuries noted in this sport, and they are:
- Hair-line fractures of the nose and eye socket floor. One particular case was when a bungee jumper, who planned to jump and dip his head in the water below, miscalculated and ended up by hitting his face and going underwater up to his waist. Too many impactful forces resulted in the appearance of these microfractures as a response to a fast-paced change of the environment and forces impacting the body.
- Eye injuries can happen for similar reasons as previous ones, as our eyes respond to pressure.
- Collapsed lungs can occur with beginners who experience sudden pressure changes. This is why it is extremely important to prepare your body for the process it will be exploited during a jump, talk to a professional, and learn as much as you can about it.
- Breaking the spine is the most extreme case scenario, and can occur by a sudden straining of the cord or other accidental factors that come unplanned.
All errors and noted accidents have helped bungee jumping evolve as a sport, and with the quality of the equipment used for it. Unfortunately, this came as a trial and error that sometimes even did result in death.
Modern technology allows manufacturers to research without practical test drives that result in fatal injuries. However, people who are ignorant of safety tips have a higher chance of suffering from whiplash, as well as a range of neck and spine injuries.
True Benefits of Bungee Jumping
With a ‘nearly death wish’ list of potential injuries, it seems that bungee jumping is an accident waiting to happen. Objectively speaking it is not, but it is an extreme sport. One of its benefits is regarding mental health. It certainly helps some individuals overcome their fears such as fear of height, speed, or doing adventurous things.
The healing sensation after doing a bungee jump is related to the sense of satisfaction after the adrenaline lets you down. In addition to that, the human mind is quite complex. It requires extreme shaking to the bone, and this activity is perfect for it.
Listing the negative aspects of this activity seems redundant. However, it is important to mention that the risk of severe injuries and death is present, especially for people who are not prepared for that.
Extreme Sports Tourism
Like we mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of this extreme activity is the experience that can even be once in a lifetime. Without having any sporting and athletic benefits, smart tourism businessmen explored ways that this activity can be utilized with tourism.
As a result people today love to visit some natural or urban points of significance. Also, whether the altitude and other factors are in favor of bungee jumping, pair the experience with a jump. This is the reason why you will find bungee jumping points in all major cities and national parks.
The more creative adrenaline junkies will even try to propose, bewed, or even bring their pet with them. Now, it is not smart to go bungee jumping with your dog, but some people still consider doing it. It comes down to the memory that will be safely carved into your brain because of the adrenaline experience you too can get hooked on.
Proper preparation can turn any experience into a pleasant and memorable one. It is healthy to push self boundaries, explore and do the unthinkable. It does benefit the mind and body in a way that allows you to destress. However, having a positive physical impact on the body, especially the back, is extremely rare. There might be cases where a physician will support your bungee jumping aspirations, as it may help you to stretch out a strained back. Unfortunately, there are no other physical benefits, as this activity is purely to create adrenaline hype in your body.
Can Bungee Jumping Help Your Back or Not?
Injuries in this sport are not common but can practically disappear once everyone starts paying attention to the rules of safety. One set of rules relates to the correctness of equipment. The technology is far advanced, from year to year more and more durable and quality materials are out there now. This enables an even higher level of safety. However, it is the man who has to control all the elements, and sometimes there is a mistake.
The second group of rules refers to the health predispositions of jumpers. Pressure or spinal problems are a serious indication that you should return to chess. Medical control before the jump should be a mandatory part of the procedure, as well as the payment of appropriate insurance. Rarely your doctor might advise you to do bungee jumping for a physical medical condition, a mental one is an entirely different story.