The last thing you want is back pain to ruin that dream getaway. According to the Chiropractic Association, one in three people suffer from back pain and it is often when people are on holiday, out of their normal routine, that things go wrong. So be aware of the potential pitfalls before and during your holiday.
Choose your suitcase wisely, buy the lightest case possible that has wheels, hard cases can sometimes weigh a lot before you even start to fill them. Two cases are better than one – If possible take two light suitcases rather than one, so you can distribute the weight more easily. Push, don’t pull! – Many wheeled cases encourage you to pull the case handle from behind, but this makes the upper body/back twist. Instead, push the case in front of you.
If you’re flying, avoid alcohol during the flight as this will cause you to dehydrate. This can exaggerate muscle pain, so drink plenty of soft drinks instead. Air-exercise – You will be restricted to your seat for most of the flight but avoid stiffness by doing shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches and foot circles.
Avoid ‘travelators’ – Get your joints moving quickly after a flight and walk rather than the easy option of a moving walk. Steer clear of trolleys – Unless your case does not have wheels of its own, try not to use airport trolleys. Wonky wheels are common and you could hurt your back trying to correct a wayward trolley.
When you get to your hotel, if your bed is too hard, ask the hotel staff for a spare duvet or continental quilt or blanket to put between you and the mattress. Firm beds are not always best, but it is easier to soften a hard bed than make a soft bed harder.
Lounging around – If you’re heading to the sun loungers in search of that perfect tan, try not to lie on your tummy with your back and neck arched back when reading your book or magazine. Put the reading matter on the floor, so that you can view it over the edge of the sun bed; this should allow you to keep your head and neck in a more neutral position.