Lockdown is over and we are all very ready to say goodbye to 2020 and head away for that well-deserved trip! This can mean travelling for long periods of time which can often lead to stiffness and soreness.
There are many variables that can cause stiffness and soreness during travelling. If you are travelling for long periods of time over the holidays, it is important to take regular breaks from driving or sitting. We suggest setting an alarm for every 30 minutes to get out the car and walk around or even just stopping for a quick stretch. Changing your posture regularly will help improve and minimize the risk of unwelcome pain.
Our postural muscles help to support our body during periods of sitting and standing and can become fatigued with prolonged sitting. As they fatigue, they will not work as effectively to support the joints in your neck, upper back, and lower back. This decreased support/prolonged pressure on your joints in one position often leads to tightness, stiffness and pain.
Travelling also comes with the carrying of luggage. Whether it be to and from the car, up and down the stairs or even dragging a suitcase around the airport, luggage is often awkward to lift and carry and is not something many of us are used to doing on a regular basis. Be mindful when lifting your luggage. Keep the load as close to you as possible and avoid picking up items on an awkward angle or picking up to far away from your body. Always get assistance with heavier items where possible to avoid injury.
Other changes that travel brings to our environment can also lead to aches and pains. Whether this be sleeping in a different bed with a different pillow, exercising more or maybe less than usual and trying new sports or activities. It is important to take into consideration any pre-existing injuries that may be affected by new activities.
Our 5 must have travel items:
Spikey balls are a great option to take with you to self-massage or for relief on those tight muscles. They are a great portable tool which won’t take up much space meaning it can easily be kept in your luggage or even the car.
We all know there is nothing worse than waking up with a stiff neck from using an unfamiliar pillow. Where possible, take your pillow travelling with you. Flexi Pillows have adjustable heights and provides the perfect balance of ‘support’ and ‘comfort.’ Taking a full-sized pillow may not always be an option which is where the flexi pillow travel size can be a great choice.
Fisiocrem is a great option to assist in temporary relief of muscular aches and pains. It is a topical massage gel which comes in a convenient sized tube that can easily be kept in your car or luggage.
Stay on top of your exercise routine by visiting a local gym while away or even taking your own TheraBand with you. TheraBands are a great alternative to weights to add resistance to your workout. They are compact and easy to pack traveling. Your Physiotherapist may have provided you with the best exercises for your injury rehab or goals so it is important to stay on top of these when you are away.
Archies are a great alternative to your regular flip-flops. They look like normal thongs but incorporate the same amount of support that you would find from an ‘off the shelf’ orthotic. Many of us will spend a lot of time sightseeing and walking whilst away so it is important to provide our feet with the support they need whilst doing so.
At Back In Motion Balnarring, our Physiotherapists can assist you with any pre-holiday questions and what the best options may be for you.