Back pain on holiday is very common. One of the biggest causes is lack of activity and an already stiff spine. Mobilising the spine and a few simple exercises are often enough to prevent back pain from spoiling your holiday.
In daily life we are often fairly active even if we work behind a desk. Travelling to work as well as getting up and moving around when we are there keeps us mobile. On a summer holiday however we may spend hours lying on a sun bed, sunbathing or reading. Sun beds are notorious for poor support for the back. The odd plop into the pool to cool off does little to help counter this.
At the end of a long and inactive day we tumble into bed where the back can be in for more punishment. Hotel beds are often unsupportive allowing your back to sag. Sometimes the bed is too hard and your back has to adapt to the mattress rather than the other way round. Back pain is the result.
What can you do to prevent back pain on holiday?
Your back is designed for movement and hates being still. First thing in the morning, before it is too hot, go for a half hour walk or swim to wake up your back muscles and mobilise the back joints that have stiffened up over night.
If you spend a lot time on a sun bed then vary your position frequently. Move to other furniture throughout the day so you are not on the sun bed for more than an hour at a time, less if you are getting back pain already. Changing to a chair every now and again can help a lot.
Through the day do these back exercises every couple of hours. The exercises will keep the back joints mobile and muscles supple.
Any other activities are also likely to help. If the resort has any aquarobics, fitness classes, yoga or Pilates then sign up and give it a go, your back will love you. More vigorous exercise like tennis, cycling and water sports can also help.
Hotel beds and back pain
Back pain is often caused by a poor mattress. If the bed is too hard putting a duvet under the bottom sheet can help soften it up a bit. It the mattress sags or is too soft then pulling it off the base and onto the floor may improve matters. If all else fails then complain and ask for different bed.
Treatment for back pain whilst abroad
If these tips are not helping enough then the most accessible help is likely to be a deep massage. Massage is widely available in resorts but it needs to be quite firm rather than gentle and relaxing for the most benefit for back pain.
For more serious back pain you would benefit from seeing a local chiropractor. To check for the nearest qualified chiropractor in Europe go here and for the rest of the world go here. If you have seen us before we can email your notes to the local chiropractor to help you get the best treatment. Here are some tips on choosing a good chiropractor.
Of course if you are on holiday in Brighton and want a local chiropactor, give us a call.
Pre-holiday chiropractic check-ups
If your spine is already a bit stiff before you travel you are much more likely to get pain whilst you are away. We recommend a pre-holiday check-up even if you are currently pain free. A bit of prevention can go a long way in keeping you pain-free.