It's the time of year when the schools have broken up and many of us are taking our annual summer holiday. Whether you are taking a long haul flight to an exotic hot location or packing up the car and family travelling to visit relatives in the UK, this is not the time when you want to experience aches and pains and your back to ‘go’ packing up the car!

Below are some top tips to help you look after yourself this summer

  1. Remember to listen to your body if you feel a twinge or pain don’t ignore it try to deal with the problem as soon as possible. If you feel aches before you go away get them sorted before you travel.
  2. If sitting on a plane for hours try to get up and move around, stretch your legs and if sleeping support your neck well with either a pillow or roll a towel up around your neck for support.
  3. Keep mobile and active during your holiday – swimming is a favourite activity for many people when away. Try not to over do it!

    Be careful about swimming in very choppy waters this can cause people to suffer with problems. Try not to do lengths of just one stroke, try to vary the stroke to use other muscle groups. If you can only do breast stroke try not to hold your neck out the water for long periods and vary by putting a float between your legs to rest your low back.

  4. When loading suitcases into the car or overhead lockers in a plane try to be straight on, bend your knees and use your abdominal muscles as you lift to support your low back.
  5. When unloading bags from an airport carousel, try standing close to the carousel and bending your knees to lift it up. You want to avoid that reach and lift; this can put a lot of strain on the low back.
  6. When packing try to use a few smaller bags than packing just one large heavy one. This will allow you to distribute the weight more evenly around your body rather than in one area. Using a ruck sack rather than a shoulder bag is a good way of distributing the load across your shoulders and back evenly.
  7. Try to use wheeled cases to avoid less lifting.
  8. Pack in advance so there is no last minute panic or rush and keep the suitcase up at reasonable level so you don’t have to keep bending up and down!
  9. When sunbathing try not to spend hours in one position – many people suffer after long periods of lying flat or on their stomach whilst sunbathing. Keep moving every 15 minutes to keep your back happy.
  10. Enjoy yourself! Holidays are a fantastic way of relaxing and giving your body some rest.

If you would like any advice or further information regarding low back pain please contact us at the Osteopathic Centre.

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