It is summer holiday time and holidays mean we either take time to relax more than we usually would or on the flip-side become more active than usual, both of which can be dangerous to our health!
Back Pain Due To Inactivity
A lot of us go away to relax and lounge around in the sun for a week or two however this level of inactivity is a complete contrast to our normal working lives back home and can lead to changes in your back and spine. Long periods of sitting, especially in a slumping position, can increase the risk of a disc injury in our spine. Too much lounging around will also cause your back to stiffen up and muscles to become tight, this is because our bodies are made to move. It is important to take regular breaks from the same posture, even if it is just small swim in the pool or even better… a walk to the bar! 😉 Other things to consider are finding chairs with a good lumbar support for prolonged sitting and ensuring your head and neck are always adequately supported when lying in the sun to avoid neck injuries.
Back Pain Due Activity!
Don’t let your suitcase ruin your holiday! I can’t begin to tell you how many patients we have had in the clinic already this summer whose lower back has suddenly ‘gone’ after lugging suitcases out of the loft and around on holiday! With any lifting and carrying you must remember to always start lifting with your knees bent and back straight and keep the load close to your body, avoiding any twisting movements with your back when lifting and placing the items down. Failure to apply a correct lifting technique can result in immediate injury to your back or neck!
With the sunshine comes the urge to be outside running and cycling again. As physiotherapists we always encourage people to participate in exercise, however, it is important to gradually increase the amount of exercise you are doing as you come out of your winter hibernation. We often see an increase in knee pain in summer due to a sudden increase in activity which then exacerbates problems linked with patellar maltracking, overloading and quads/gluteal weakness. Try not to do excessive amounts of new exercise on day one and make sure you assess how you feel the next day before doing it again or increasing the amount you do.
10 TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY ON HOLIDAY
🌞Purchase a travel pillow for the flight to avoid waking up in your holiday destination with a stiff neck.
🌞Take care lifting and moving heavy luggage.
🌞Avoid having air-con blasted onto your neck for the duration of your flight & whilst eating in restaurants.
🌞Take the time to adjust the seat of your hire car to suit you.
🌞Wear supportive shoes and not flip-flops especially when going for longer walks and days out.
🌞Take care around the pool to avoid slips and falls.
🌞Peel yourself up from your sunbed every 30 minutes & take a swim or 5 minute walk.
🌞Ask the hotel for extra or alternative pillows if your head & neck are uncomfortable in bed.
🌞Take the hotel stairs instead of the lift – moderate exercise is the best way to stay healthy.
🌞Most importantly… avoid dirty dancing lifts after a day of enjoying your all-inclusive drinks!!!😜