As you get set to relax and take a break this Christmas, don’t let the holidays become a pain in the back or neck. Dr Marti would like to remind you to look after your posture and avoid the annual summer holiday season postural wear and tear.
Long car trips, cramped airline seats, heavy suitcases, unfamiliar beds and pillows, over indulgence and even seasonal stress can all take their toll, with symptoms often becoming more pronounced when a person attempts to resume their typical home, study or work duties. These travel ‘bugs’ can sometimes spoil a holiday because of the increased stress placed upon your body.
Confinement in fixed positions for long periods, traffic stress, and vibratory forces from your mode of transportation, may often place you at a greater risk of developing issues such as back pain.
To help prevent your holiday from becoming a pain in the neck or back, Dr Marti recommends shaping up before you hit the road. The Straighten Up Australia website (www.straightenupaustralia.com.au ) for instance, features a quick three minutes-a-day exercise program to help strengthen the body.
A quick pre-holiday tune-up can also ensure you are in the best possible shape to cope with those potential holiday niggles. It is important to ensure your back travels safely this summer. A regular tune-up with your chiropractor is the same as a pre-holiday service for your car – it’s the added insurance you need for a safe and comfortable holiday.
Follow Dr Marti’s list of the top travel tips to help you ‘get your happy back’ as you enjoy your next holiday.
- Take regular stretch breaks at least every one to two hours.
- While sitting, use back support, such as a small, rolled towel. Alternate behind the back and between the shoulders.
- Make your seat upright, placing your tailbone as far back into the seat as possible, and shoulders and head supported
by the seat.
- While flying, sit on the aisle seat where possible, making it easier to regularly stretch and walk during the flight.
- Be careful while lifting and carrying luggage. Bend with your knees, not your back. Retrieving baggage off the
carousel can be particularly risky, often involving rapid twisting.
- When sleeping in a strange bed, sleep on your back or side where possible and avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- Compensate for dips in the mattress by placing a small, soft towel under your side.
- If the bed is ‘saggy’, consider putting the mattress on the floor.
- Use a ceiling fan instead of air-conditioning, where possible, to avoid cold blasts of air on your neck or back.
- Perform the Straighten Up Australia (www.straightenupaustralia.com.au) exercise program once a day, while brushing your teeth.