With the middle of July now here, summer is in full swing, (with or without the cooperation from the weather!). And with summer comes travel and holidays. We get many patients that end up injuring themselves on holidays, and what should have been a good time, ends up being a painful week or two. So what are some ways that you can keep yourself injury free while traveling??
Smart travel posture- Weather you are flying or driving or taking the train, one of the easiest ways that you can safeguard your back health is by remembering to maintain good seated posture. That can be difficult depending on the type of seat. Most general airline seats for example are not made with good spinal posture in mind. The easiest way to help combat this? Sit all the way back in the seat with bum and back hitting the back rest. Then get an extra pillow, towel, blanket, or sweatshirt, and roll it up and place it behind your lower back. This will help you maintain the normal lumbar lordosis. Sitting back in the seat also helps keep the upper back in a better posture. And don’t forget about the neck, make sure not to keep the head in a bent forward posture for extended periods, be that for reading or texting. Keeping the head back on the headrest will ensure a neutral posture for your neck as well.
Proper lifting of luggage- Utilize the rolling capabilities of your luggage if it has it. If you end up in a hotel with no elevator and are stuck carrying your bag up three flights of stairs, here are a few tips for you. Keep the abdominal muscles contracted. Keeping these muscles active helps them to act as a natural weight belt for the lower back and prevent injuries. Bend from the hips instead of from the back. Always try to aim for keeping the back flat when bending over to lift something up, this will also help to protect the lower back from injuries.
Hydration- Especially true if you are somewhere warm, but drinking plenty of water is not just for times when the sun is shining. Keep your water bottle close by at all times. Water help to hydrate the joints and the muscles and can ease tension and pain. Dehydration leads to headaches and more aches and pains.
Exercise- Most people don’t associate holidays with exercise! But being on holiday can be a great opportunity to do exercises that you may not be able to do while at home. Hiking, walking, swimming, are all great lower impact activities to do to help keep your body strong and healthy. Forget about that lounge chair at the beach, get yourself out and moving.
Smart shoes- Speaking of all that walking you will be doing. Now is not the time to wear a brand new pair of shoes. Make sure you wear in the shoes before you go to avoid pain. And if you know you will be doing a lot of walking, make sure to bring proper shoes with the support you need, even if they might not fit in with the local fashion trends. It’s better to be pain free, than to be stylish and in agony!
Keep our tips in mind as you enjoy your summer travel, to help keep back pain at bay!
With the holiday season in full swing its easy to get caught up in the “madness” of the season. And for many, this time of year seems to be more stressful than joyful. We’re here to give you a few tips to help you have a healthy happy holiday season!
Maintaining a routine is a key element in reducing stress. And it can be very difficult this time of year with parties to attend to, visitors from out of town, and dinners to cook. But if you keep some sense of “normalcy” in your daily tasks it can help take some of the pressure off. These include:
Rest– getting enough sleep is vital to how you will feel during the day. Do you ever get that “on edge” feeling when you haven’t slept enough? You will be more likely to lash out at people and feel more tense in general. Best rule, listen to your body, and take time to rest and slow down if you need it. Recruit others to help you get your tasks done.
Exercise– if you have been exercising, KEEP IT UP!! Don’t let a few visitors stop you from going on your daily run or walk. If you haven’t been exercising, today is a good day to start! Getting some activity is a great way to help manage stress levels, exercising also releases “feel-good” hormones into the body. Take your stress out on the gym, not on everyone else!
Food– this one is tough. During the season of excess, how do you maintain your n
ormal diet? With buns and pies everywhere it’s hard to resist, especially when you are not at your own home. Definitely enjoy having food that is out of the normal for you, but resist the temptation to overindulge. Plus, there are many ways to modify recipes to make them healthier choices that are just as tasty.
Stress wreaks havoc on the body and mind. Do what you need to do to calm down from that state: exercise, meditation, yoga, drawing, spending a few minutes alone. Maintaining a normal routine it can help take the stress of the unknown out of the equation. Remember what this season is all about, and enjoy it, because before you know it, it will be over!