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Beach holiday back care – top tips

Whilst you may think a relaxing holiday will be a great way to ease aches and pains, in fact some of the things we tend to do on holiday (such as sleeping in a different bed and flip flopping along the beach!!) can potentially lead to new problems or make existing ones worse. Your body is designed to move, so back and neck pain can emerge when you remain in one position for long periods, such as when travelling – or relaxing!

Here are some tips from Polly on caring for your back when on your holiday to help make sure back ache doesn’t spoil your fun:

Before you go
If you like to pack a heavy suitcase or bag maybe think about building your strength before your holiday. Upping your core strength and flexibility before you go will prevent strains when you’re lifting and carrying. When you do come to packing, try to spread the load with two lightweight cases on wheels if you can,

Shoes
Don’t just pack flip flops into your suitcase. Whilst great for the beach they aren’t very supportive which can lead to poor posture and possibly back pain. Whilst these may be ideal on the beach, do make sure you take a supportive pair, too. Alternate them with your flip flops as much as possible, particularly when walking any distance.

During the flight
Avoid stiffness during the flight by doing some shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches and foot circles. Try to get up and stretch your legs whenever you can. Drinking plenty (of water that is!!) will not only keep you hydrated but it will keep you moving too, with regular trips to the toilet.

Sleep well
When you arrive, if you feel your bed is too hard, ask the hotel staff for a blanket or duvet to put on top of the mattress as a form of topper. If you have trouble with your neck and you sleep on your back, roll a hand towel into a sausage and put it around the back of your neck with your head on the pillow. If you sleep on your side, put it between the gap between your shoulders and neck to keep your spine in a more neutral position, minimising strain.

Warm up (not just by sunbathing!)
Whether you’re swimming or water-skiing, trying sports which you don’t do on a regular basis can be a shock to your system. Make sure you warm up any unused muscles beforehand with a few balancing exercises such as squats and sit-ups.

Lounging around
When on sun loungers try not to lie on your tummy with your back and neck arched back to read your book. Put the book on the floor, so that you can view it over the edge of the lounger; this should allow you to keep your head and neck in a more neutral position.

Staying in the UK for your holidays? Look out for our next blog on UK based holiday tips.

Happy Holidays. xxx