Long haul flights and lengthy road trips can harm your back. Sitting in a cramped position for hours takes a toll on your spine. There’s also your luggage; carrying and lifting heavy bags can hurt your back.
As we begin to journey again, now’s the ideal time to plan for a better back. Here are five ways to keep your back healthy and comfortable.
1. Stay hydrated
When driving or flying long distances, you may be tempted to limit your fluid intake. After all, this means fewer toilet breaks. But being dehydrated can increase your sensitivity to pain. Drink water regularly to stay hydrated and protect against discomfort.
2. Pack sensibly, lift carefully.
Most of us pack more than we need for a holiday. Keep bag weights as light as possible. When lifting, use the correct technique. Squat and brace your legs — not your back — to lift. Maintain an upright spine. Keep items close to your body. Pivot with your feet, don’t twist. Take your time.
3. Wear a thick scarf.
A scarf is easy to wear and has multiple uses. If you’re stuck without lumbar support, place a rolled scarf in the curve of your lower back. If your neck feels unsupported, use a rolled scarf behind it. If you experience coccyx pain, sit on a folded scarf to lessen the discomfort. And, of course, a scarf can keep you warm too!
4. Move often.
Plan how you can keep moving during your trip. When you’re on a long flight, opt for an aisle seat so you can easily stand and move about. When you‘re driving a long distance, schedule regular stops to shake out your body. Whether flying or driving, aim to stretch and move often. Shrug your shoulders, extend your legs, tilt your neck from side to side.
5. Pack the heat.
Snap-to-work hot packs and heat patches make great travel companions. Easy to transport and use, they provide comforting warmth just where and when it’s needed.
We can provide customised advice on how to keep your back safe before you travel.
Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.