10 Top Tips to Prevent Back Pain on Holiday

Watch your back

At this time of year we start to see several people who have injured themselves on holiday. It is not the sort of holidays that you might expect either. Rather than activity holidays like biking, kayaking, tennis and walking trips it is the inactivity holidays that are worst culprit. As stress builds leading up to the departure date, aches and pains start to recur before people even get to their destination.

Even packing can cause back pain. Getting cobweb laden suitcases out of lofts and cupboards often means twisting into tight spaces. Bending over repeatedly to pack holiday essentials also aggravates the back muscles and joints. The dash to the airport, lugging heavy bags out of the boot of the car and on and off trolleys can be troublesome. Standing in a check-in queue for hours at 5 am can play a part too.

Travelling is rarely a pleasure especially if you are crammed into an aircraft seat designed for someone who is obviously six inches shorter than you are. A few hours sitting still whether it is in a plane, train or car will often cause even a healthy spine to stiffen a bit. Combine that with the contact sport that is the luggage carousel and conditions are ripe for a back strain.

Finally you arrive at the hotel or apartment only to find beds that are too hard or too soft and a pillow that is worn out. Then there is more bending to un-pack. You have completed a spinal assault course and you have only just arrived.

Sunbeds are another hazard for the unsuspecting. Lying still for ages, especially on your front, can aggravate a stiff back. Combine this with unaccustomed activities such as splashing about in the pool or sea, sailing, windsurfing or even banana boat rides and conditions are perfect for aches and pains to start.

There is one more obvious danger lurking – sunburn. The usual preventative steps are well-known – a hat, sunscreen and staying out of the hottest part of the day but there is a little known secret that can help prevent sunburn. Omega 3 essential oil supplements. Omega 3 oils help protect the skin against sun damage and will work best when used with the other prevention measures.

Top Tips to prevent holiday aches and pains

  1. Pack well in advance to avoid the stress and place the suitcase at a suitable height to reduce bending.
  2. Get help lifting bags and bend from the knees rather than the waist.
  3. Use wheeled cases or buy a separate lightweight luggage trolley.
  4. Use a ruck sack rather than a hand carrier.
  5. Take an orthpaedic travel pillow (available at Sundial).
  6. Take Omega 3 oils for two weeks before departure and whilst away.
  7. Fold a jumper behind your back for support when in a poor seat.
  8. Put a duvet under you on a hard mattress, put a soft mattress on the floor.
  9. Don’t lie on a sun lounger for more that half an hour and for no more that 15 minutes on your front
  10. Book a spine check with a chiropractor if you are having any pre-holiday niggles.

If all else fails fly first class and get your butler to carry the luggage. Have a great trip.


Sundial Clinics, Brighton's favourite chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage clinicsFor better backs, shoulders, knees and necks

Serving Brighton, Hove and the surrounding areas

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