Friday, June 30, 2006
Oh, my aching vacation
…Getting in and out of cars, tour buses, climbing monuments--for people with back trouble, vacation time can be torture.
…Katie Burns Ryan, DC, assistant professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN, has some tips for traveling with a bad back.
…”Sometimes,” she says, “the smallest changes can make a difference in how you feel.”
…Maintain correct posture. If you are driving, get as close to the wheel as is comfortable, back at 90 degrees.
…Use a lumbar support pillow (a small rolled up towel will do) behind your lower back.
…Contract your muscles from time to time to improve blood flow. Start at the legs and work up. Hold, release, hold, release.
…Don’t sit for more than an hour without getting up. Get out at every opportunity on a car or bus trip, walk around.
…Load and unload properly. Never lift, bend, or twist at the same time. Bend your knees. Let your legs do the work.
…Use a suitcase with rollers. When rolling along, keep your trailing arm straight and close to the body.
…Sleep on a soft surface. When camping, bring a foam or blowup mattress.
…Drink water. This helps all muscles cooperate.
…Use a backpack properly. Two straps around shoulders, one around the waist. Put heavier objects closer to the body, lighter ones to the outside.
…Wear tennis shoes. Arch support!
…If you really have constant back pain, consult a doctor or chiro. You don’t want to get progressively worse.
…Better Europe than the surgeon’s office!
…Oh, and HA also suggests getting other people to do the heavy lifting. Isn’t that why people have kids?