I am going on a holiday, how can I protect my back?
This blog goes out to all of our patients’ that are fortunate enough to be heading overseas to beat the Melbourne cold this winter and enjoy some warmth or at the bare minimum have some fun. Whilst Australia is a great country, it is also takes time to get to some of the fun places such as Europe and America. With some flights taking in excess of 20 hours, not to mention the time spent in those uncomfortable airport chairs. So, off the back of this we have sat down as a team and come together with a short list to help keep you pain free.
Move and keep moving:
With the time spent in a small seat it can be pretty uncomfortable and can start to cause some of those aches and pains through the hips and lower back. If possible, getting up and walking down the aisle (hopefully you get a aisle seat or else bad luck for the person sitting next to you) this is a great way to move but also helps our leg muscles pump some of the fluid that is retained in your legs when we fly (also reduces your risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis post travel). I find every 1hr getting up and walking/stretching for 5-10 mins helps. Also incorporating some basic yoga movements (such as downward dog and child’s pose) can help keep you limber.
Safe lifting techniques with luggage:
You’re at the airport, you have steeped out of the car and said your goodbyes to the Uber driver and now you’re ready to proceed to check-in. One issue…..how will you get your luggage to the counter?? You can always pay someone to do it for you or you can get a trolley to help with the journey. The one thing we need to be careful is the loading and unloading of the trolley. Make sure you avoid bending and twisting at the same time, because this is where majority of back injuries can occur. I would recommend keeping the load close to your body and using your legs to lift the suitcase/s.
Get in early and Book Your Seat:
Considering some flights can be 14 hours long, paying an extra $30 (some are more expensive) could be the difference from you having an enjoyable flight or getting off and starting your holiday in pain. I’m sure most people would pay $2 an hour to have extra leg room and be able to stretch out.
Get those feet supported:
Like in a desk job you want a stable base, same goes for travelling. Even though you may be restricted with what you can alter or carry in a plane, you can still support your feet by either placing them in a little hammock or firmly on the ground. Without the feet supported it can add extra stress to your lower back (which is already compromised with the plane seats).
Heat packs are a really great and cheap option to take away with you and can be easily administered without the use of much equipment. You can get heat packs which once applied to the skin can last up to 6 hours. If you’re feeling a bit ache and stiff, getting some heat into those muscles will help get you moving without the need to take anti-inflammatories.
What we mean by staying hydrated isn’t going to town on the unlimited alcohol available (alcohol dehydrates the body) but to continually have some water or electrolytes to sip on when flying. Due to the nature of the cabin and the dryness of the recirculated air water can leave your body. This can result in different issues, some of the common ones you hear about are headaches, cramps as well as stiffness through joints (tendons/muscles and ligaments are made of collagen which has a high-water component). The added bonus of drinking regularly is that it forces you to move frequently…that’s because you’ll be constantly using the toilet.
The most important part of your holiday is to ENJOY it!! As much as your body may need a break, your mind probably needs it more. Our body isn’t designed to work 40+ hours per week plus all the other stress that comes along with life. So give you mind and body the rest it deserves and have a great time with whatever you do.
As always if you ever need extra help prior to traveling or want some suggestions on how to maintain your body whilst on holidays get in contact with us at Hobsons Bay Health Group and we can definitely point you in the right direction to making you the happiest and healthiest you can be!!!
Visit https://hobsonsbayhealthgroup.com.au/ for more information or to book your appointment.