SCA President Dr Ross McDonald (Chiropractor) advises those going on holiday to care for their spines: “Each year, we see patients returning from holiday with back or neck pain. Some have over-exerted themselves lifting luggage; others have tried new activities without properly warming up and others complain of their necks or backs seizing up. This can happen if holiday-makers spend a lot of time lying in awkward, twisted positions on a sun-lounger, either trying to read or to get a different angle to the sun.”
“When you get up, or try to turn over from these positions, you can find that your back or neck seizes up. That’s when you need chiropractic treatment to help with the injury. Unfortunately, if you are away from home, back pain can end up ruining your holiday.”
Top tips to avoid back pain on holiday:
Try to relax while travelling: tension often manifests itself as back and neck pain. Breathe deeply and stretch regularly and whenever possible. Drink lots of water.
Use lightweight luggage with wheels if possible for both hand luggage and suitcases. Minimise the contents of your luggage to keep it as light as possible. Be careful when lifting bags on/off conveyor belts at airports – avoid twisting and lifting; bend at the knee and use your legs, not your back, to take the strain
Warm up first. Be aware of the impact of unfamiliar activities on your back and neck; ensure that you do stretching exercises after exertion
Don’t twist or contort yourself in order to read or change your angle to the sun.Avoid lying around for long periods of time – this is not what you usually do and your body isn’t trained up for it!
Get up and move around regularly
- Don’t lie flat on your stomach and arch your back
- Ideally, lie on your back, straightened out, but with your knees bent to take the pressure off your back
If you are unlucky enough to trigger a back injury, come and see us as soon as you return and don’t leave it to potentially get worse. The sooner an injury is treated the quicker it is likely to heal properly.