If you’re lucky you may be going on holiday this summer. I love the U.K but considering the stop/start nature of the summer holiday weather this year I wouldn’t blame anyone if they decide to get away for some sun, sea and sand. As chiropractors we often find that people come back from holiday with a back problem. Hours waiting at airports for delayed flights, sitting for lengthy periods on seats that were not ergonomically designed, or just carrying too much luggage can lead to problems – especially if you try what the guy in this pic is doing. We can’t help with delayed flights – that’s a necessary consequence of mass transport – but here’s some advice on luggage. Follow these simple tips to stay pain free.
Do I Need a Suitcase?
These days most budget airlines charge a hefty fee for hold luggage. If you’re only going away for a week or so on a beach somewhere seriously consider not taking a suitcase. Cabin luggage allowances are pretty generous and although you may not be able to wear a different outfit every night you’ll be glad when it comes to reclaiming your luggage after you land because you simply won’t have to. Your back will also be grateful.
Even then your carry-on may be quite hefty and manufacturers are increasingly alive to this and many have added recessed wheels to carry-ons to make your life a little easier. Injuries often occur when lifting cases into overhead lockers so don’t be afraid to ask for help from the cabin crew.
If you simply can’t do without a suitcase choose one with wheels. The very worst thing you can do for your back is to carry a heavy suitcase. The body is unbalanced and the back twisted – take another look at the man in the image above again and you’ll see what I mean. Muscular damage is pretty common.
Try to travel light. Allowances often dictate this of course, but even a 20Kg weight can cause injury. This applies even with a carry on – perhaps more so as you’ll be lugging it around the airport longer. Set out what you thing you’re going to need then take at least a third off. When packing, always lift your empty case onto a raised surface like a table or bed to avoid repeatedly bending over. Do the same when unpacking.
As a SCUBA diver I can’t avoid taking heavy bags on a diving holiday but I’m acutely aware of the risks even before I get in the water. I often leave behind bits of kit that I know I can either do without or easily hire when in resort and am super careful when lifting the full bag on or off a bed when full. Trust me – those diving bags are beasts!
If you do end up with a bad back after your holiday – perhaps you’ve already been away and suffered an injury – don’t fret. Give us a call and we can hopefully help you put it right. Happy holidays!