Taking a break can be a very good thing and our chiropractors recommend it, however, it can lead to us doing things we wouldn’t normally do, which can increase the risk of injury. Picking up heavy luggage, twisting the back pushing a luggage trolley and sitting awkwardly in a confined space for long periods are just some examples of things we wouldn’t do on a daily basis which can all lead to back pain.
Our chiropractors at Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic in Southend want your summer holidays to be a time to relax, enjoy and have fun and not be ruined by a bad back. With this in mind they have put together some simple things you can do to protect your back when flying and it all starts with some preparation:
- Use lightweight cases, preferably with wheels, to minimise the weight you have to carry. It’s best to choose a case with wheels that allow you to push the case in front of you than having to twist your body to pull it.
- Depending on your airlines rules, it is best to use two lighter evenly balanced cases than one heavy one.
- Pack as lightly as possible. Most of us are guilty of packing way to many clothes and accessories for our time away.
- Make your luggage stand out from the crowd so that you don’t have to lift too much luggage off the carousel mistakenly! A simple way to do this is to tie coloured ribbon to the handle.
- Get a good night’s sleep before heading off to the airport. Tiredness can lead to mishaps!
At the airport:
- Avoid using a luggage trolley if possible, especially if your luggage has wheels. Trolleys so often have a life of their own and can result in a lot of effort and body contortions to keep then going in the direction you want.
On the plane:
- Take care lifting and removing any luggage into and out of the overhead containers.
- Avoid stiffness during the flight by doing some simple exercises in your seat. Shoulder shrugs, foot circles and buttock clenches are good exercises to do.
- If it is convenient then stand up and take a walk around the plane.
- Stay hydrated. Flying is dehydrating on the body so drink plenty of water or juices. Avoid drinking alcohol as this will add to the dehydration.
After the flight:
- Get walking as soon as possible after you get off your flight. This will help get your joints moving. Avoid using travelators or walking along the travelators.
- Take care lifting your luggage off the carousel.
- Don’t forget to avoid using a luggage trolley if possible.
As much as we love to see our patients we really do want to help you avoid back pain and a trip to the clinic. Follow these simple steps to help avoid back pain if you’re flying this summer and do have a safe and enjoyable holiday.