As summer is in full swing, we often have patients with back problems coming into our clinic just after returning from vacation. For many, it is the first episode, and for others, it is their second or third time experiencing back pain. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common scenario; after extensive driving and sitting as we fly and drive to various locations requiring extensive sitting in less than optimal seating.
Sadly, the body just doesn’t like to be in one position for extended periods of time.
After treating people with lower back conditions for the last 20 years, a common misconception is that patients experience issues because they have lifted something heavy, had a fall or trauma, or started Cross-fit or a Boot Camp class.
So how do we avoid this common problem?
Here are my three simple rules to avoid back issues while on vacation:
- Use a lumbar roll when driving. Often the ones that are found in cars don’t fit everyone. If you buy a McKenzie lumbar roll from OPTP (follow this link – https://www.optp.com/The-Original-McKenzie-Lumbar-Roll) it can make a HUGE difference.
- When possible, recline your seat to 120 degrees or slightly back so when you sit, a portion of your weight goes into the upper seat, offsetting pressure on your back.
- If possible, take turns being the driver so you can recline your seat. Also, having your legs extended can help a great deal and offset pressures on your back. Take a break every 30 minutes if you are currently having back problems or every hour if you don’t currently have back problems. You must be proactive about moving because often you don’t realize your back is starting to have trouble until you get up.
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