Sunday, 16 June 2013

Back Pain on Holiday

We're approaching the summer holiday season, but don't let a bad back spoil your hard-earned break. 

Back pain on holiday is very common. Instead of activities like biking, kayaking, tennis and walking trips being the culprit, the biggest cause of holiday pain is lack of activity and an already stiff spine. Mobilising the spine and a few simple exercises are often enough to prevent back pain from spoiling your holiday.

Make sure you keep moving on holiday...go for a morning walk or swim and keep moving throughout the day. Your spine will thank you.


If you spend a lot of time on a sunbed, make sure you vary your position frequently and also switch to a chair. Avoid laying on your front for too long, as this can aggravate your spinal joints. 

Hotel beds and poor mattresses are a major source of back pain. If the mattress is too hard, try putting a duvet under the sheet to soften it up. If its too saggy, try pulling the mattress onto the floor. If all else fails, complain and get a new mattress!

Be aware of how your carrying your luggage. Use trollies when available and make sure you're carrying bags evenly on each side of your body.

Having a pre-holiday check-up can go a long way in preventing a recurrence of back pain.


Top Tips to prevent holiday aches and pains
  1. Pack well in advance to avoid the stress and place the suitcase at a suitable height to reduce bending.
  2. Get help lifting bags and bend from the knees rather than the waist.
  3. Use wheeled cases or buy a separate lightweight luggage trolley.
  4. Use a ruck sack rather than a hand carrier.
  5. Take an orthpaedic travel pillow.
  6. Take Omega 3 oils for two weeks before departure and whilst away.
  7. Fold a jumper behind your back for support when in a poor seat.
  8. Put a duvet under you on a hard mattress, put a soft mattress on the floor.
  9. Don’t lie on a sun lounger for more that half an hour and for no more that 15 minutes on your front
  10. Book a spine check with your osteopath if you are having any pre-holiday niggles.