City Centre Chiropractic

Brisbane 3229 6993

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Tips to reduce travel pain.

As the hoilday period fast appraoches so does the dreaded migrations where you pack up the kids, the car and the presents and hit the road (or the air) to get to your family and friends.  Unfortunately, for those who suffer from back pain these hours spent packing and travelling can take their toll on their back and lead to some painful consequences.

  • If you are travelling on a plane, request a seat with additional leg room so that you can easily move in and out of your seat and stand up throughout the flight to stretch.  You might also need to request some ice to use an ice pack for those longer flights.
  • Try to minimise excess movement with heavy luggage. If you can, use a trolley to move your bags or ask for assistance.

Minimise the number and weight of items that you take with you as hand luggage. Taking a light bag will reduce the strain on your back.

If you are driving take rest breaks and try to walk around and gently stretch from time to time. This will help you to stay in the best possible shape while you are travelling. Also, walk and stretch before you start your journey.  If on a long haul flight you can walk the aisles or stand and perhaps strike up a conversation with the cabin crew in the galleys.

During your travel be conscious of your seating posture and ensure your back is supported. It may also pay to pack some neck or lumbar support cushions or a small towel which can be folded to support your area of need.

Every hour or so, change your position. If driving this might mean changing the recline position of the seat, a small change in seat position that still allows you to drive comfortable can still alter which muscles in your back are working the hardest, and give your back a break.  Stretch your arms, legs and back muscles when able using general stretching exercises. Ailsa and Doug can recommend stretches specific for you. These regular gentle stretching exercises will help to reduce your pain.

Should you be concerned about travelling and the back or neck pain that it may cause, talk to Ailsa and Doug who may be able to give you some other alternative suggestions.

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 Another Common Complaint we see after a holiday break is “Hotel Bed Back” also unfortunately sometimes known as “Spare Bed Syndrome”. This condition is much worse than “Hotel Bed Back” because you feel terribly uncomfortable discussing it with your host.

Have you ever had a hotel stay where you woke up to a new and beautiful location, but were in too much pain to appreciate it? If you have, you are not alone. A good hotel bed can be crucial to enjoying your stay when you are away from home. It sets the tone for the rest of you trip and can actually make the difference between you being more physically able to go out and do activities or even perform better in your work capacity.

The challenge when it comes to finding a good hotel bed is realizing that you cannot judge a book by its cover. Many hotels can lure you into thinking that you are going to get the most restful sleep you have had in ages by showing you a glamorous brochure with a beautifully appointed room. Unfortunately, when you actually get into the hotel bed, you are not so impressed, and when you wake up in the morning you can barely straighten up. You may wonder how you can avoid this potentially disastrous pitfall during your trip. Well, here are some tips to consider next time you choose a hotel and you want a truly good night's rest:

1. Look through the brochure and see if the hotel lists what type of beds they use. Keep in mind that a hotel that prides itself on delivering a good sleep for their customers will have gone out of their way to chose a bed that they can really stand behind and even promote.

2. Call the hotel and speak with the front desk about the type of beds used and the level of comfort. While a front desk clerk may want to say just the right things to impress a customer, you may get interesting, honest answers and even some additional information from the people who deal with satisfied and sometimes not so satisfied customers.

3. Check online at sites that review hotels and see what customers have to say. Of course, you need to really be able to discern who really was a customer of that hotel and who may be just trying to promote or demote that hotel for purposes of their own agenda.

Just remember that the choice falls with you as the don't accept a poor night's sleep and hotels will always work hard to make sure you rest easier!

While you may not be able to choose your bed in your holiday destination you can choose your sleeping  position.  Sleeping on the stomach is a terrible position for everybody but it is especially troublesome for people with back and neck pain.  Sleeping on the back, with the correct pillow (always take your own even if the Hotel offers a pillow menu - you might just need it) is the better option.  Place a pillow behind the knees to relieve the compression on the back.  No matter where you are staying you can always request extra pillows, blankets and towels which can be fashioned into lumbar and neck supports ( in the privacy of your room so your nearest and dearest relatives don’t know!)  You can roll a towel or fold a soft pillow and fill the curve behind your neck when lying on your back for support if required.
Perhaps the best position for a person who suffers from back problems is lying on the side with the knees pulled up. To make this position work even better, one can put a large pillow between the knees. This keeps the spine from twisting during sleep. Sleeping in the right position not only helps people have a better night. It also helps them awake feeling rested and allows you to enjoy your holiday.

If the bed really just is too soft perhaps you could put the mattress on the floor ( be careful and get hlep if you already have a bad back - we are not trying to make it worse!) Or fashion a mattress on the floor with all those extra blankets, towels and pillows you asked for.  This might not be the best option but might just save the holiday and hopefully your chiropractor can ease your aches and pains on your return!
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