With the school holidays upon us and some long-awaited sunshine, many people are preparing for their summer holidays. For those of you who are planning to drive to your holiday destination this summer our chiropractors at City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke have put together some advice for keeping your back safe.
Taking a holiday, while meant to be fun and relaxing, often finds us changing our routines which can impact our backs, especially, if you are already prone to back pain. Our chiropractors have also included some additional tips for keeping your back safe on holiday.
Following this advice should help keep your back in tip top condition so that you can enjoy a back pain free holiday this summer.
Back Safe Driving Advice
Check your driving posture
Poor driving posture can often contribute to back pain. This is especially the case for people who spend many hours in a poor seated driving position.
Driving to a holiday destination, and when on holiday, can find drivers spending many more hours in their driving position than they would normally.
Before heading off on holiday where you’ll be doing a lot of driving, our chiropractors advise that you check your driving position and adjust it to ensure that it supports your posture and back as follows:
- Seat back – bring the back of seat to a position where you have an upright driving position without being bent forward.
- Seat height – adjust the seat height so that you have sufficient headroom and that your knees are level with or below the position of your hips.
- Seat tilt – adjust the incline of your seat so that it slopes slightly downward.
- Steering wheel – move your seat, and/or steering wheel, so that you are close enough to the steering wheel that you have a good bend in the elbows with your hands in a ten to two position on the steering wheel. You should avoid having your arms in a straight locked position as this will cause tension in the neck and shoulders.
- Headrest – adjust the headrest so that the top of the headrest is higher than the top of your ears. This should ensure that your head is supported if you should have an accident.
- Seat belt – adjust the seat belt so that it doesn’t cut across your neck.
Take regular beaks
Regardless of how good your driving posture is, it is important to take regular breaks when driving. Take a break at least every two hours to get out of your seat, stretch and walk around.
Additional Tips for a back safe summer holiday
Let’s admit it who hasn’t packed too many clothes and ‘stuff’ for a summer holiday. However, if you want to keep your back safe, our chiropractors advise keeping your bags as light and as evenly packed as possible.
Use lightweight suitcases or bags to keep weight to a minimum. Choosing wheeled suitcases reduces the need to lift your bags as often which can reduce the risk of a back injury. If you do use a wheeled case, push it instead of pulling it to reduce the strain on your back.
Even the most relaxing of holidays can involve more walking than normal. Make sure to pack a well-fitting and comfortable pair of shoes.
Whilst there has been an increase in activity centered holidays, for many, taking a holiday is an opportunity to lie back, relax and sometimes over-indulge! However, taking moderate exercise helps towards maintaining a healthy back so including time for exercising is a good thing. Walking, swimming and cycling are all good forms of exercise to consider.
Maintaining a good posture is not only good for your back but it’s also good for your overall health. Check your posture from time to time during the day and if you fond yourself slumping or slouching then straighten yourself up.
Spending hours lying on a sun lounger may not be the best thing for your back especially if you spend quite a bit of time lying on your stomach or side. Remember to take regular breaks from sitting or lying, stand up, stretch and walk around to give your back a break.
Visit a chiropractor before your holiday
If you are suffering back pain or discomfort before leaving on holiday it is advisable to have it checked by a chiropractor before heading away.
Our chiropractic team are here to help get to cause of your back pain and help you get out of pain and discomfort as quickly as possible. To book an appointment call our clinic on 01782 848 184 or you can book an appointment online on our website here.
Our team at City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke on Trent wish you and your family a wonderful and back safe summer holiday.