You are heading away on your much looked forward to holiday, the last thing you want is back pain to ruin it! However, the combination of being out of your usual routine, traveling and sleeping in a different bed can often play havoc with your back.
Here are a few helpful tips to help ensure your holiday goes smoothly and most importantly, to help make sure you don’t have to invite your Chiropractor along too!
- Suitcase selection. Choose wisely, buy the lightest case possible that has wheels; hard cases can sometimes weigh a lot before you even start to fill them. Remember it is a good idea to pack two smaller cases rather than one large one. It will help to distribute the weight more easily.
- Be careful with how you pull your case. Many wheeled cases encourage you to pull the case handle from behind, but this makes the upper body/back twist. Make sure you keep your arm by your side when pulling the case to help prevent this.
- If you share a car, it is very important to make sure the seat is adjusted for you each time you drive.
- To make sure that it is a good driving position, ensure the seat is angled slightly backwards and your elbows are at a comfortable and relaxed angle so the hands fall naturally onto the steering wheel. Many back problems are caused or aggravated by poor driving posture.
- Relax at the wheel, as this reduces stress on the spine and allows your seat to take your weight.
- Take regular breaks. Stop, get out and stretch your legs at least every two hours.
- Leave the tight clothes at home. They restrict your movement and feel less comfortable.
- Try and get up and move around as often as you can. If you can not move around easily, try doing some exercises in your seat. Shoulder shrugs and circles, buttock clenches and side bends all help to keep the spine moving.
- Pick up a spare ‘liquids’ bag as you pass through security. Ask the cabin crew for some ice, pop into the bag and you have an inflight ice pack. This can be really helpful for keeping aches and pains at bay on a long haul flight.
At the Hotel
- Make sure you check your pillow height before sleeping. Try the different pillows to find the one that is the most correct for you. You can check this by again, observing your sleeping posture.
- For side sleepers, when you are lying on your side your neck should be a continuation of a straight spine – not too high or too low. If you are a back sleeper then to assess if your pillow height, is correct, ask someone to observe your sleep posture when you are lying down. If your chin is resting on or near your chest you may wish to try reducing the pillow height, or if your chin is pointing straight to the ceiling you may wish try increasing the pillow height.