There are many simple things we can do to try and avoid too many aches and pains when going on holiday. Consider these before your next trip and see if they help you too.
Pre-travel advice to avoid backpain
Packing- try and pace out packing and not leave it all to the last minute. Do a little bit and often of sorting out things for your holiday and consider the questions 1- Do I REALLY need this? 2-Do I REALLY need this much of X? Especially if X is the whole cupboard of toiletries and make-up! Try to cut down the amount of baggage you take and pack the bag on a table, rather than bending to the floor to pack it.
We will often suggest an MOT check-up to clients before long journeys or sometimes after long ones, depending on the nature of their problem. This will ensure joints are moving well and muscles are relaxed too. Our Osteopaths and Massage team are only too pleased to assist.
Travel advice to help avoid back pain
We will often encounter patients in the clinic who have ‘done their back in moving or lifting cases’. You can minimise this by;
- Choosing smaller cases and packing less in them. Less load to carry that way
- Choosing a wheeled case (ideal is 4 wheels) and you can push this in front of you, rather than dragging it behind
- Try not to bend, lift and twist too much with the case and use trolleys that are provided
- Take care on conveyer belts to lift the bags off. This is a commonplace of injury.
- For items you are likely to need during the journey, use a backpack, again load it with the ‘essentials’ only and ensure it has a waist strap to lessen the load further.
- Encourage kids to carry a small amount too or invest in a trunkie. I know I would have loved one of those. Give them a little responsibility to look after their bag and put a few goodies in a small bag to keep them entertained too.
When you travel, try to keep moving as much as possible, even if travelling in the car or on the train. Move your neck, arms, legs and ideally back too, to keep those joints and muscles flexible. Get up and out of your seat on planes and walk around every hour. Fidget, wiggle and move as much as you can, without too much annoyance to other passengers, or maybe you could set the trend for the trip!
Wear clothes that are lightweight, loose fitting and enable you to move. Have a good pair of shoes, especially needed in case of delays and periods of time standing.
Drink plenty and stay hydrated. It is all too easy to forget to drink or not drink so that you don’t have to get up to use the loo. I know I am guilty of this one on aeroplane journeys, but hydration is essential. Carry a bottle of water with you and aim to drink a glass per hour of water at least. If your urine is straw-coloured that’s ok, any darker and you need more water.
Return from travel advice for back pain
Hopefully your travel away will have been a time to relax and enjoy, but if upon return you find you have some niggles or pains, why not check out your local osteopath to see if they can help. Osteopathy can help ease muscle and joint pains, alongside helping with things like headaches and nerve pain. Find out more about osteopathy in Worthing here.
For more information about the author, Osteopath Sue Bunce, click here Susan Bunce – Broadwater Osteopathic Practice – Worthing (worthingosteopathy.com)