When I broke my back snowboarding in France, the physiotherapist told me I'd likely never carry a backpack again.

Ironically, I'd been backpacking through Europe for the past six months, carrying over 50 pounds in a 65-litre bag on my back. After fracturing my L1 while taking a jump at the ski resort I was working on, I was lucky to even be walking. Adventures were the furthest thing from my mind.

photoAlison Karlene Hodgins

It’s been five years since I broke my back. After two surgeries, countless physiotherapy treatments and an entire mindset adjustment, I’m finally able to explore again. I hike, paddle, cycle and camp more than I did before my accident, mostly because I have a new appreciation for the simple fact that I can. But every so often, my back starts to strain with the weight of a pack and I have to lie down, stretch or take an ibuprofen. My recovery has come with a new companion: pain.


How to Overcome Pain on Outdoor Adventures


Although breaking my back was a freak accident, many explorers experience similar ailments on outdoor adventures. Whether it’s constant back or joint pain, permanent medical issues or flair-ups from decades-old injuries, our health can make—or break—our ability to live the adventure.


I don't know about you, but I struggle to enjoy a scenic hike or overnight paddle when I'm in pain. I find that fueling my body with healthy food, stretching and doing yoga every day balanced with regular visits to my massage therapist and doctor boosts my body's ability to complete an adventure. What works for me may not work for you; we all have unique injuries, bodies and situations, so be sure to discuss your condition with a health professional who knows your history before attempting any adventure.

I'm always open to trying new ways to benefit my health and increase my body's capabilities. So I jumped at the chance to test out two PURICA products that are designed to help me feel better before and after my outdoor adventures: Recovery Whole Body Health & Pain Relief (extra strength) and Complete 360 Stress Relief & Immune Support.


PURICA Products for Inflamed Past Injuries and Immunity


The PURICA Recovery contains Nutricol, a proprietary blend of grapeseed extract and green tea. An anti-inflammatory, works at the cellular level to target the root cause of back, hip, knee, shoulder and wrist pain. The recommended dose is five capsules twice daily. If that sounds like too much to swallow, it also comes in a powder you can stir into water or diluted juice.


Containing eight organic mushrooms, PURICA Complete 360 helps strengthen the body’s response to stress, reduce fatigue and improve memory and brainpower. These fungal polysaccharides carry immunomodulating properties packed into three pills to consume daily. It's also available in a powder.


All PURICA products are non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan. The pills I tried come in sturdy glass bottles with golden lids.


Get back out there and explore


Summer is rapidly approaching, and with it, hiking trails, canoe routes routes and backcountry camping sites are opening for the season. I want to be as healthy as possible to explore as much as I can.

 photoAlison Karlene Hodgins

Although I'm planning for an influx of outdoor adventure, I'm not planning my next injury. I don't know when, where or how it will happen, but I can be prepared for it. Every adventure holds some degree of risk. Injuries aren't planned, which is why I've decided to commit to working harder to maintain my good health and to not take it for granted when I feel good on an upcoming adventure.

After two spinal surgeries, I'm still so thankful that I can explore. I often kiss my knees or rub my legs appreciatively after a hike, because I was so close to losing my ability to adventure. It's easy to forget how much our bodies do for us. So, treat your body right, fuel it with natural products, and love and respect everything it does for you. After all, it's the vessel that got you there.



This article was brought to you by our friends at Purica.