It is official: we have made it to the summer holiday season! To ensure your summer travel plans are full of fun and relaxation, take a look at these helpful tips to avoid the aches and pains that can accompany vacations.
- Proper lifting. Whether it be packing a suitcase or loading the RV, remember the importance of lifting with your hips and knees rather than your back. The key points to lifting any object are to bend your knees, keep your back straight, and squat down to the level of the object you are lifting. Avoid twisting your body while lifting a heavy load as this can cause too much stress on your joints and muscles leading to pain.
- Travelling. Whether it be via airplane or car, long trips are a part of many people’s summer routine. When travelling, it is important to break up the sitting as best you can. For every hour of driving or flying, get up and move around. This could be as simple as getting out of your car, walking around the vehicle, and getting back in. To keep your spine in proper alignment while sitting, consider placing a small rolled up towel or pillow between your low back and the seat to support the proper curve in your spine. You can also bring your pinky ball, lacrosse ball, or any firm ball you may have at home with you to roll out your muscles while sitting for long periods.
- Different sleeping environments. Different beds are inevitable during summer travel. To help combat the aches and pains that usually follow sleeping in a new bed, bring your own pillow to ensure you are comfortable. Use the ball you had while travelling to roll out any muscles that may be tight and tender if the bed is not ideal for you. If you are a side sleeper, place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in proper alignment. If you tend to sleep on your back, place the pillow under your knees. For all you stomach sleepers, try placing a small pillow under your hips.
- Be prepared. If you know you are going to be uncomfortable while travelling, ensure you are booking in the proper self-care before you head out. Rather than cancelling your weekly Pilates class to do some last-minute packing, sneak in that much needed movement before your trip. Get a chiropractic adjustment and acupuncture session before you leave. Talk to your physiotherapist about stretching exercises to do while you are away. Book a massage or BodyTalk treatment the week before you leave to ensure your body is ready to handle the change of pace. Luckily, I know just the place to call.
Summertime is meant for relaxing, re-energizing and enjoying the sunshine. Remember to take care of your body to get the most out of the season. As always, if you have any last-minute questions or concerns before you leave, please do not hesitate to contact Lead for more information.
Yours in health,
Dr. Rikki MacKenzie