Injury Free Holidays


It is great that Summer has come around again and I hope everyone has some lovely holiday plans this year.  Unfortunately, travel plans can lead to pain due to long car journeys, sitting awkwardly in plane seats and sleeping in different beds.  So I have put a few tips together to help you stay in tip top shape for your holidays.

Sitting well

  • If you sitting awkwardly on the plane or in the car, don’t be surprised if your back doesn’t want to straighten up when you reach your destination
  • The key is to keep moving around in your seat, straightening up regularly
  • For extra support use a jumper or small pillow at the small of your back
  • Keep your feet moving while sitting, this will keep the blood flowing properly
  • An inflatable travel pillow that fits around the neck can help avoid neck pain by providing head support while resting or sleeping in a sitting position during travel
  • As always try avoid sitting with crossed legs

Keep Moving

  • The spine is designed to move. Sitting in one position for extended periods of time stiffens the back muscles, which can put stress on the spine
  • Squeeze and relax your buttocks regularly
  • Keep you shoulders moving with shoulder shrugs
  • Choosing an aisle seat on the plane is useful as you are more likely to get up and move around
  • When you stand into the aisle, stand up and down on your toes to exercise your legs and keep the blood circulating
  • Avoid slumping in the airport lounge and try not cross your legs, this will all help to keep you spine happier
  • Where possible walk through the airport without using escalators or moving walkways, take the stairs!
  • Use your waiting time to keep moving
  • Make sure to use luggage on wheels, if carrying a bag switch shoulders regularly to avoid straining one side of your back
  • Set an alarm on your phone, to remind you to keep moving every 30mins
  • Take regularly breaks when your driving a long distance, a quick walk around the car and standing up for 5 mins will make all the difference

Heavy Bags beware

  • Check heavy bags rather than lugging these onto the plane
  • Ask staff to help when putting bags in the overhead lockers on the plane
  • When lifting bags off the luggage carousel, be careful not to reach and twist – this is a common way to injury discs in your back
  • When lifting heavy bags bend your knees and try keep your back straight
  • Instead of taking one large bag, big two smaller bags, it will be much easier to lift them out of the boot of the car

When on holidays

  • If you wear orthotics at home, make sure to use them on holidays as well.  Flip flops will cause you pain if worn all holiday (Click here for Summer Footwear Advice).  If you need custom made flip flops, (a flip flop with orthotics built in), just give Avril a call on 045 841010 to discuss your needs
  • Make sure to keep active on holidays, your back will protest to lying all day on the sun-lounger. Make sure to change position regularly when lying in the sunshine
  • Use the pool for the rehab that your Chartered Physiotherapist has given for any current injury
  • Make sure to check the pillows in the hotel.  Try use a pillow that is similar to your own pillow at home, this will keep neck pain at bay

If you are suffering from pain on holidays, send us an email for advice to or pop into us when you get home at the Motion Physio Clinic, Prosperous,  Tel: 045 841010.  

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