A Guide To Back-Pain Free Holidays

  • Choose your suitcase wisely- Pick a lightweight case on wheels, many hard cases are heavy even when empty.
  • If in doubt go with two- Two lighter cases are better than one big one.
  • Use soft bags with long shoulder straps so that you can distribute the weight across your body
  • Push your suitcase, don’t pull! Pulling the suitcase behind you makes the upper back twist. Try pushing it in front of you instead.
Flying or taking the train?
  • Drink plenty of water and juice to stay hydrated this helps reduce muscle pain
  • Try to move around every 20-30 minutes even if it’s just in your seat. Try shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches and foot circles to avoid stiffness.
Arriving at the airport
  • Walking through the airport after a flight rather than using ‘travelators’ helps get your joints moving
  • Make your bag easy to identify so that you don’t have to lift other heavy suitcases off the carousel
  • Steer clear of airport trolleys- trying to correct a wayward trolley with wonky wheels can cause back pain.
Driving?
  •  Make sure the seat is adjusted so that your elbows are at a comfortable angle and the seat back is suitably positioned
  • Stop driving and stretch every two hours
  • Stuck in traffic? Exercise in your seat, do shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches, side bends and circles
  • Wear loose clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement.
When you arrive
  • If the bed is hard use a spare duvet between you and the mattress to make it softer. The same with pillows.
  • Check the pillows to ensure that they allow your head to stay aligned with the rest of your body. Some people take their own pillows with them, although this is not always practical.
  • Sun loungers- When lying on your stomach place your book or magazine on the floor so that you keep your head and neck in a more neutral position rather than arched back to read.

Information from BCA