In this last month of summer, many families in and around Woodbridge will be trying to fit that last bit of travel in before school. Whether you are headed to the beach or inland to catch those final days of vacation before the leaves start to fall, there are certain precautions you should take to avoid spinal subluxations. While you may just associate the possibility of hurting your back with lifting heavy luggage, there are hidden dangers to be wary of.
Lifting Luggage Properly
While it is a common issue, properly moving your luggage is a problem worth discussing. The most common causes are improper lifting and trying to do too much at once. First of all, be sure you are lifting with your legs more than your back. If you have to turn, pivot on your feet, not at the lower back. Anything carried in front of your body should be close to your abdomen and chest, with the weight spread between the two sides of your body, to better maintain balance. Finally, if you are carrying a backpack, use both straps, if possible, or switch between shoulders to avoid straining the spine.
Don’t overestimate your strength. While you may be excited to get out of town, taking a couple extra minutes to properly move the luggage will save you hassle down the road. As often as possible, break up the process into smaller steps. This can mean either packing smaller suitcases, or simply taking more steps in your moving method — i.e. placing the luggage in the trunk, then moving it to the right place. Take your time and don’t strain yourself.
Enduring the Travel Time
As many people know, sitting for long periods of time can cause back pain. After all, our spines were designed for motion. Shifting positions or walking around every now and again can alleviate much of that pain. Doing so also stimulates increased blood flow, which can prevent muscles and other soft tissues from becoming tight and sore. If you are on a road trip, encouraging the family to have a 10-second “shake it out” session every half hour or so attribute to this stimulation — just make sure the driver does so safely!
If you know you will be sitting for a long time, be sure to bring back support. For many, a pillow will do the trick. Even using something like a rolled-up sweater is better than nothing. Supporting your feet is also important for a healthy spine. If you cannot reach the floorboard, use a suitcase or some other solid surface to prop your feet.
Dealing with Back Pain in Woodbridge
Even if you take all these precautions, you may deal with back pain on vacation, especially if you are active during your travels. A cold compress or ice pack, alternated with heat, can help reduce swelling and spark the body’s healing process. Much of the time, this is enough. If not, however, it may be beneficial to visit a chiropractor when you get home.
If your back pain from vacation does subside on its own, come visit Woodbridge’s top-voted chiropractic practice, ACT Wellness. With a combination of traditional therapy and cutting-edge technology, we can have you back to your old self in no time. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.