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Top Tips to Avoid Back Pain on Holiday

There are many reasons why a holiday could be important to you:

  • Time to switch off – life is so busy now that we need to de-stress, unwind and basically stop thinking about work.
  • Spend quality time with your family/friends – having fun, talking, doing things together with no distractions like the TV, phone or computer. Enjoy a digital detox!
  • Something to look forward to – especially when you are feeling under pressure
  • Increased activity – research shows that most people exercise more on holidays than during a regular working week. This may mean a swim, a walk on the beach. A bike ride is a great way to exercise and explore the area.
  • Time in the sun is good for your body – this is when we produce Vitamin D. Most of us are now deficient in this important vitamin. We need to allow sun on our body without sun protection to get the benefit – about 15 minutes.
  • Catch up on your sleep – make sure you rest and give your body time to recover and recharge.

There are other benefits to holidays which can be stimulating:

  • Inspiration – you may find that ideas come to you when on holiday or you may simply find you appreciate your own life more when you get back.
  • Try new experiences – sample different food, try a different activity, actively explore your surroundings, do something you wouldn’t do at home.
  • Sea water – listening to water alters wave patterns in the brain in the same what that mediation does. We become more in tune with the natural flow and rhythm of nature which may contrast with the struggling up stream when dealing with our daily lives
  • Memories – holidays often evoke happy memories which can be used as an effective relaxation aid.
  • Happiness – after taking a holiday we are less tense and stressed, will be in a better mood and have higher levels of energy

Top Tips For A Back-Friendly Break:

Our desks, computers and cars are all significant factors in causing back pain. Getting away from these habits give our backs a well-earned break! However it is important to remember your back.

Travelling to Your Holiday Destination:
  1. Suitcases – choose the lightest you can and preferable those with wheels. Two light suitcases are better that one heavy one. Push, don’t pull!
  1. Sleep – travelling when you are tired can increase your chance of injury so get a good night’s sleep before a long journey.
  1. Packing the car – Do not lean too far forwards and do not lift anything in that position. Place objects on the edge of the boot and push them backward. When unloading, pull the cases to the edge first. Remember to ask for help if you need it, instead of struggling and possibly causing injury.
  1. Lifting properly – whether from the boot of the car, at check-in or baggage make sure that you bend with your hips and not your back. Ask for help if needed.
  1. Flying – aircraft can have cramped conditions and re-circulated air can be detrimental to your body. Swap alcoholic drinks for water to stay hydrated. Keep your circulation flowing with some simple stretches and wear loose fitting clothing.
  1. Driving – ensure your posture is correct and that your elbows are at a comfortable and relaxed angle. Try to relax at the wheel to reduce stress on the spine and allow your seat to take your weight. Take regular breaks and stop and stretch your arms and legs at least every two hours. Wear loose fitting clothes.
  1. Trolleys – avoid using trolleys unless your case does not have wheels. Battling with a wayward trolley is the cause of many a back injury!

Remember all these good tips on the return journey too. Please don’t ruin a great holiday by hurting yourself as you travel home!

While You’re On Holiday:
  1. Keep active – exercise little and often – swimming is great, as is a walk on the beach. If you like to exercise, pack workout clothes – lightweight, breathable materials are best.
  1. Sun Beds – try to avoid lying on your front while propped up on your elbows reading a book as this arches you neck and back
  1. Beds – If too hard, ask for a blanket or spare duvet to put under the bottom sheet. It is easier to soften a hard bed than to make a soft bed harder!
  1. Enjoy yourself!

Try to put these tips into practise. You’ll come back refreshed – due to usually better sleeping, fresh air, laughter and relaxation.