• Brixton Therapy Centre

Preventing Back Pain on Holiday


Many of us spend the whole year looking forward to an annual holiday. A break away from it all, a chance to unwind and enjoy some sun and spend precious time with loved ones. However, many of us also have this much longed-for holiday ruined by back pain and other musculoskeletal aches and pains.

Thankfully there are a few things you can do to help you avoid experiencing musculoskeletal injuries, or exacerbating existing ones and reduce back pain, strains and sprains both before you go on your holiday and while you are away.

This article will give you some helpful tips to help keep you pain-free on your holidays so you can make the most of this important family or relaxation time.

First of all though, why are holidays such a common time to experience back pain?


Why Holidays Can Be a Pain

A huge number of people spend their holidays in pain and reliant on pain relief. There are a few factors that make going on holiday a particularly common time for existing back or other musculoskeletal injuries or problems to become worse or for problems to arise. These include:

  • Heavy lifting - carrying bags and transferring them between vehicles is a common cause of back, neck and shoulder pain.

  • Sitting down for long periods - whether you are driving or flying you will inevitably spend a long time sitting down and car and aeroplane seats don’t often provide effective lumbar support.

  • Sleeping and sitting on different chairs and beds that may not have the lumbar support that you are used to or require.

  • Many people who exercise regularly stop exercising during their holidays.

  • Unusual activities - some types of holidays such as activity holidays or holidays where you are doing different activities than your body is used to put extra strain on your whole body but especially your spine.


Top 10 Tips to Prevent Pain on Holiday


  1. Consider your luggage carefully, travel light where you can and consider several smaller bags instead of one large one. Bags with wheels are also a good idea.

  2. Make use of carry-on services and baggage trolleys wherever possible.

  3. Lift wisely. When lifting your luggage stand as close to it as possible, avoid leaning over or bending at the waist to pick up anything heavy. Instead always bend at the knees and actively engage your leg muscles. Hold the bags as close to your body as possible and remember to do the same in reverse when putting your luggage down again.

  4. Take a small pillow that you use to provide some lower back or lumbar support when you are going to be seated for a long time.

  5. If you are sitting for long periods make sure you take frequent breaks; stand up and walk around even for just a minute or two and do some stretches.

  6. Try to avoid standing for long periods - alternate between standing and sitting where possible and walk around rather than stand still if you can.

  7. Stay well hydrated - it is easy to get dehydrated when travelling especially in warmer weather. The air con on aeroplanes and in cars can be very drying and it is easy to either accidently not drink enough water or to even deliberately avoid drinking as much as you should to avoid making too many bathroom stops. But, as well as helping the discs in our vertebrae remain well cushioned and therefore minimising the stress put on your spine, drinking water will also help avoid headaches and dry skin.

  8. Don’t take a break from your regular exercise while on holiday. However tempting it may be to have a complete rest. Your body will thank you for continuing to be active while you are away and it will help to prevent your joints and muscles from seizing up and minimise risk of strains and sprains.

  9. Stretch regularly - yoga stretches are great but any stretching is going to help your body cope with the rigours of getting to your holiday destination and the changes in activity and furniture while you are on your holiday.

  10. Consider a pre-holiday massage or osteopathy appointment to iron out any niggles before you go away, to stretch out your muscles, and relieve any tension.


How Can Osteopathy and Massage Help you Have a Pain Free Holiday?

Despite what many people think osteopathy and massage is not only good for treating injuries and pain it is also a very effective way of preventing muscoskeltal problems from surfacing or re-surfacing if you have an existing issue.

The holistic nature of both professional massage and ostepathic treatments mean that your practitioner aims to get your whole body your joints, muscles and connective tissue working and functioning at the optimum level.

This helps to alleviate stress put on other areas, what is called refered pain and well as dealing with any injuries or pressures put on your body by sports, lack of exercise or the stresses and strains of everyday life.

The stretching, massaging, manipulation and moving of joints and muscles during your massage or osteopathic treatment increase mobility, improve circulation, relieve muscle tension. All of which helps to prevent the kinds of sprains and strains that are common during movements and activities that your body is not used to.

Your practitioner will also be able to advise you of the best exercises and specific stretches to do to for your body’s particular needs to prevent pain or injury while you are on your holiday.


Osteoapthy or Massage is a Great Way to Start Your Holiday

Prevention is better than cure as they say and a treatment with us at the Brixton Therapy Centre is not only a great way to prevent back pain during your holiday but is a wonderful relaxing way to kickstart your holiday.

It could also even end up saving you money as, by catching problems early or preventing them entirely, you won’t require as many, if any, follow up treatments. We find that those who prioritise seeing our therapists on a regular basis as a preventative measure need far less treatments than those who wait until they are in a lot of pain and got to the point where they can’t continue with their everyday activities.

It couldn’t be easier to book your appointment with us, you can do it online here or call us on 02077339944.

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