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Travel Season Is Coming Up – Protect Your Back!

After a long winter, it’s nice to look forward to spring and summer and to start planning for vacations.

What do you have in mind? A daytrip to a local amusement park? A bucket list trip across the Atlantic, or to a tropical getaway? Wherever you’re going and whatever you’re doing, you want to enjoy every second. That means taking all the necessary steps to avoid making any existing back pain worse, and to keep from hurting yourself while you’re away.

So how do you go about doing that? First thing is first – make a mental list of the activities that represent risk and avoid them at all costs.

That means that if you’re taking kids to an amusement park, you should choose the time when they ride the rollercoaster for a bathroom break, and if your trip involves watersports you should opt out of water skiing. Looking beyond the obvious, there are also some things that you might not think twice about but which represent a chance of injury.  Here are a few things to be mindful of while you’re away:

  • There’s a secret to lifting luggage the right way – We’ve all heard the phrase “put your back into it,” but when it comes to lifting this is the absolute wrong thing to do. Instead, bend your knees and make use of the powerful muscles in your thighs when lifting anything heavy, and absolutely positively never twist and lift at the same time. Whenever you’re lifting anything heavy, lift straight up. If at all possible, lighten the load, but the most important thing you need to do to avoid injury to your back is to lift the correct way.
  • Remember that other people are happy to help – When you’re at the baggage carousel and you see your bag coming, don’t run to get it: call out and ask one of your fellow passengers if they could please grab your bag. The crowded scene and limited visibility is a perfect set up for rushing and then picking up your bag the wrong way. Worst case scenario, wait until your bag makes its way around the loop again. A healthy back is worth the wait.
  • Why carry your bags at all? More and more travel companies and hotels are more than happy to help you make arrangements to ship your bags to your destination. Imagine the added sense of ease that would come with having your luggage picked up at your home a day or two before your departure, boarding without having to check a bag, and then arriving to find your bags waiting for you in your room.
  • Prepare for the possibility of pain – If you’ve had back issues before, then you should prepare for them in the future. Pack whatever medications or pain relief remedies have worked for you in the past, including heating or ice packs. The room they take up in your luggage is minimal, and you’ll be glad that you don’t have to go find a drug store if you’re in pain.

We wish you safe, happy and healthy travels. If you do find yourself suffering from back pain, contact our office today to set up a consultation with our specialists.