Summer’s here and many of us are looking forward to a well earned break. While you’re packing for your trip, don’t forget our handy checklist on how to take care of your back while you’re away…
The right suitcase
One of the simplest tips to ease the strain on your body when you’re going away is to choose a lightweight suitcase. Harder and heavier cases will weigh a lot before you start to fill them, so choosing a lighter suitcase, especially one with wheels, will help to lighten the load and prevent any strain on your body. Carrying two suitcases rather than a single heavy one helps to balance the weight evenly, keeping your back happy!
If driving to your destination, make sure you support your back as poor posture can aggravate and cause back problems. For best practice, position your seat at a slightly backwards angle, and keep your elbows in a relaxed position. Taking breaks at least every two hours is important to stretch and relax your body, regular breaks also help to prevent tiredness at the wheel.
If you are flying, try to avoid drinking any alcohol before your flight, as this will cause dehydration, which can exaggerate muscle pain. If you are in for a long flight, you can reduce stiffness by doing simple exercises in your seat. The British Chiropractic Association recommends regular shoulder shrugs, buttocks clenches and foot circles.
It’s all too easy to let yourself get dehydrated on holiday, especially in hot weather. Drinking plenty of water reduces risk of illness and removes toxins from the body, which helps reduce any swelling or inflammation in your joints. The NHS recommends six to eight glasses of fluid a day, more if it’s hot or you are physically active.
If you’re heading to the beach, or out to the park, pack a lightweight folding or camping chair. Having a proper chair to sit in supports your back and improves your posture, which means aches and pains are less likely.
Pack your own pillows
It can often be difficult to adjust to different bedding when travelling, with mattresses and pillows more hard or soft than you may be familiar with. Packing your own pillows can help to improve your sleep, providing a firmness and familiarity you are used to. If you are staying at a hotel and find your bed is too hard, you can also simply ask a member of staff for a spare blanket or duvet to put on top of the mattress.
If you’re experiencing aches, pains or niggles, don’t suffer in silence. We’ve got your back…neck, knees and shoulders!