Alison Eaves is a chiropractor at Revive Chiropractic in Adel, a suburb or Leeds and has the following advice for anyone who is worried about back pain ruining their summer holidays.
Blistering sunshine has given way to thundery downpours just in time for the first week of the school holidays. Whilst you can’t do much about the weather, you can take a few simple steps to help look after your back.
I see lots of back pain patients who get very anxious about how they will cope on a long car journey or long flight. In actual fact many patients cope much better than they think they will and I think this has a lot to do with being on your holidays and so being relaxed. Anxiety will cause your body to become more sensitive to pain signals whereas clinical studies have shown that relaxation techniques reduce the perception of pain.
2) Be prepared with a few essentials
If you are staying in an apartment and have access to a freezer then take an ice pack. This will help with any acute inflammation arising from the flight or your travel to the holiday destination. Applying ice for 15-20 minutes a few times a day will help settle down symptoms. If you don’t have a freezer then you can always ask the hotel barman to spare you a bag of ice. Taking a tennis ball with you is a great massage tool for those emergencies when you get a muscular ache. Use it like a massage ball on the painful area for 5-10 minutes daily.
3) Use a lumbar support when sitting
A rolled up towel or the sleeves of your jumper do a great job of acting as a lumbar support for the low back when sitting. This supports the lumbar lordosis and maintains normal spinal curvature to minimise stress and tension on lo back structures. It also helps to maintain correct posture that will help with upper back and neck problems.
4) Take regular breaks
I don’t advise sitting at your desk for more than 40 minutes so why would you sit in the same position for 4 hours in a car or on a plane? Get up and move about as this resets the stretch receptors in your muscles and keeps your body alert. If you are in the car then pull into a services or a layby and just have a 1 minute walk about before continuing.
5) Pack lightly and only take what you need
Remember that you will have to carry whatever you take. Do you really need all that extra stuff? Is it worth the added trouble of carrying it?
Have a great summer holidays and com and find me at Revive Chiropractic in Leeds if you are still struggling after the holiday. You can book an appointment by calling 07828 686026.