Staying Pain Fee During Half Term Holiday
According to the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) in 2016, 32% of people who have suffered with back or neck pain have experienced this on holiday. Of these people 45% suffering on holiday felt it was due to sleeping in a different bed, 40% felt it was due to travelling long distances and 37% felt it was due to carrying heavy bags.
The BCA have offered some great ideas on how to make sure that your holiday isn’t ruined by back or neck pain. They have suggested ideas to look at before you go, if you are flying or driving and what to look for when you get to your destination.
Before you go:
Choose your luggage wisely; the lightest case if possible on wheels.
Perhaps take two lighter cases than one heavy overfilled case. If using shoulder bags try to ensure they have long shoulder straps as this will allow you to wear the bag across your body and evenly distribute the weight.
Try to push rather than pull the bag. If you have to pull the case, as many wheeled bags encourage you to do, this will cause your upper and lower body to twist.
If you are flying try to avoid alcohol before and during the flight as this will lead to dehydration. Dehydration can exaggerate muscle pain. Try to keep well hydrated with lots of water.
When flying try to keep moving as much as possible. Even if you are restricted to your seat you can avoid stiffness by doing shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches, foot circles and raising up and down onto your tip toes. Whenever possible get up and walk around.
On arrival at your destination get walking. Avoid the travellators to get your circulation, muscles and joints moving.
When retrieving your luggage at the travel belt try to be in a good position as close to the belt as possible. Try to avoid lifting and twisting your body but lift and pull the case with your core muscles engaged.
If you are driving try to ensure your posture is good with the seat slightly inclined backwards with elbows relaxed. It is important to take regular breaks and if possible to get out of the car otherwise try to stretch your legs and arms. If you are in static traffic try some buttock clenches, shoulder circles, head and body turns.
If hiring a car try to get the largest one possible as it will tend to have more space and be more comfortable.
On arrival at your destination check your bed and pillows and if you are not happy as for some blankets or duvet to put down if the mattress is too hard. Softer beds are harder to contend with and you may find the only possibility is to place it on the floor.
If you are relaxing on a sun lounger it is important to get up regularly. Also when reading on your tummy place the reading material on the floor in front of you which will help to keep the head and neck in a neutral position.
Using sunglasses can help prevent squinting which will help the neck muscles remain more relaxed.
Why not try out these tips next time you are away to help keep away back and neck pain!