Travelling Back-Smart

July 12 2019
Travelling Back-Smart

Many of us will soon heading off on our summer hols.  In the dash to pack, get to the airport, do battle at the check-in queue and finally collapse exhausted in the departure lounge there are myriad opportunities to do our back a mischief.  Here are a few tips to help ensure that you make it to the pool-side sun-lounger in top shape, ready to relax and tackle the holiday-novel:

  1. Try to avoid leaning over when packing - we often put a suitcase on a bed to pack which is at an awkward angle.  Put your suitcase on the floor and sit or kneel on the floor if possible to pack.  (Then sit on the case to jam it closed - after all, you’ve probably got a ‘one-case limit’ - Thanks Budget Airlines!)
  2. Watch your posture when you load your case into the car and when wrestling your bag off the luggage belts. Take your time, bend your knees and use your core muscles around your tummy to help you.  It’s always better to have two lighter weight suitcases rather than one to help to prevent back strain.
  3. Suitcase selection - Buy the lightest case possible that has wheels, hard cases can be heavy even before they’re packed with our holiday luggage.  If possible, push your suitcase rather than pulling it from behind which can cause your back to twist.  Many wheeled cases come with a pull up handle so use this to push your case in front of you. (This is where all those times you’ve picked the wobbly-wheeled trolley and swerved down the aisles at the supermarket pays off as training)
  4. If you have a long car journey take regular breaks, stop and have a walk at least once every two hours.  If you’re stuck in traffic or on a long flight, buttock clenches are a great way of keeping your core muscles awake. Shoulder rolls and stretches are also very helpful.
  5. Drink plenty of water whilst you’re travelling, especially in warmer climates as dehydration can make muscle pain worse.
  6. If you love your sun lounger when you’re away, try to get up every 30 minutes to exercise your body, even if it’s just to get another cocktail! Especially avoid lying on your stomach for long periods as this can irritate your low back and neck.  If you are lying on your tummy it can be helpful to roll up a flannel and place at the front of each side of your pelvis to help to protect your low back from over extending.

Following these few simple tips will help ensure you get the most out of your holiday and keep you doing the things you love to do.

We hope you have a great Summer Holiday!