How to Alleviate Back Pain Whilst Travelling

Sometimes long trips are unavoidable, especially if you love travelling to long haul tropical destinations. Whether you’re a long term backpacker or have a long road trip coming up for work, you should take time to consider your spine health. Sitting in a car or on a plane for a long period of time can be uncomfortable and lead to ongoing back pain for the duration of your trip.

If you already suffer from back pain, then you will dread long car journeys or flying because you know that sitting for long periods of time can make it worse. Being in one position can stiffen the muscles in your back and cause aches and pains. However, there are some things you can do to alleviate the discomfort and avoid an episode of chronic back pain. Here are some top tips from the Canary Wharf chiropractors.

Use supportive cushions

Sitting correctly is really important for keeping your spine happy, yet many car seats and airplane seats aren’t designed well to correctly align the body. You want to sit up straight in the seat, with both feet firmly on the floor and the knees on level with or slImage of Airplane travel Causing Back Painightly higher than the hips. With limited leg room on planes we know this is difficult. Bring a cushion or roll up a scarf to place between your lower back and the back rest, which adds extra support to your spine. If travelling in a car or coach, always make sure you feel comfortable and the seat is adjusted for you before setting off.

Move as much as you can

The main culprit that causes back pain is sitting still for too long. If you can’t stand up and walk around during your journey, at least try and change your position every 20 minutes or so. There are also stretches and small movements you can do while in your seat – clench your buttock muscles, roll your ankles and stretch up with your arms to keep the muscles awake. It’s easy for your back to stiffen up on a long flight or car journey. If you are driving, be sure to stop every couple of hours for a walk around and a stretch.Image of Train Station Travel Causing back Pain

Pack light

The last thing you need after a long journey which has aggravated your back is heavy luggage. Try to lift your luggage as little as possible, and when you do always bend your knees and use your legs to lift rather than your back. Pack light – how many books are you really going to get through in a week? Can you pick some up at the hotel instead? Just because the airline offers 30kg of luggage allowance doesn’t mean you should pack enough for six weeks. If you’re unloading luggage out of the boot of a vehicle be extra careful and ask for help to share the load on your back.

Planning a long haul journey? Follow these tips to keep your back safe during the trip, and beforehand you may want to consider preventative chiropractic treatment.

Alternative Health Services in East London

Alternative health therapies and holistic health services are growing in popularity. Perhaps someone has a long standing health condition which doctors can’t diagnose, or they are simply fed up of the negative side effects of medication. There are many reasons why people choose to explore alternative health remedies, and in some cases they are successful in reducing chronic pain or improving overall health and wellbeing.

Complementary health treatments vary from physical techniques such as cupping or traditional massage, to complementary natural medicines which are shunned by the health profession. People looking for a cure for their chronic illness have a range of options in East London.

Acupuncture

Deriving from ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture is recognised as a complementary alternative medicine (CAM). It is usually performed to treat pain related illnesses, including migraine and chronic neck pain. Acupuncture in East London is performed by physiotherapists, chiropractors and some doctors and is sometimes available on the NHS. The traditional form of acupuncture is based on the belief of energy (qi) running through the body. Acupuncture is thought to reinstate the flow of qi through the body and therefore restore health.

Cupping therapy

While slightly controversial, many athletes and celebrities have popularised cupping therapy. This type of physical medicine also has its roots in China, and dates back 5,000 years. Many doctors are sceptical of the treatment, which can be used for a wide range of ailments and also to improve fertility and reduce cellulite. However, fans of the alternative treatment include tennis star Andy Image of alternative health treatmentMurray, Olympian Michael Phelps, and A-listers Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston.

Kinesio Taping

Seen on many athletes, Kinesio tape was developed to help people with sports injuries but also regular patients with back pain and other complaints. The adhesive tape supports joints and muscles without restricting the range of movement, which is why it is so popular with professional sports players. It provides comfort and support to areas of concern, yet apparently there is still not enough science to back it up – so it remains a complementary manual treatment.

Reiki

A reiki healer channels universal energy through their hands and passes it onto the client with a gentle touch. Reiki is said to accelerate natural physical and mental healing, and is therefore used to treat a wide variety of illnesses including arthritis, back pain, migraine and anxiety.

This is just a short selection of the alternative health therapies available in East London. Search for your nearest holistic health centre or chiropractic surgery for more information.

Best Ways to Correct your Posture

All of us are guilty of neglecting our posture and holding positions which are bad for our backs. Whether it’s slumping over a computer or tablet, or walking with too many heavy bags, we should be taking an active role in trying to correct our posture. Sitting, standing or lying in a bad posture on a regular basis can cause long term problems, especially as you age.

If you know that you don’t always sit up straight or properly look after your back, then it’s never too late to try and correct your posture. Maintaining a good posture has many benefits for the body and mind. It keeps all of your bones and joints in correct alignment, which ensures certain muscles are not put under too much pressure. The risks of poor posture include ongoing neck and back pain which can also affect the hips and knees.

Follow these top tips from our qualified chiropractors to try and correct your posture and avoid discomfort.

Image of bad bag carrying postureCarry weight evenly

If you carry a handbag or a briefcase most days, then you could be jeopardising your posture. Constantly carrying a weight on one side of the body and pull certain muscles and joints out of alignment without even realising it. Aim to carry all weight evenly, for instance with a rucksack which equals the weight over both shoulders.

Change your position

Today’s sedentary careers and lifestyles are thought to be to blame for the global epidemic in back pain. Our bodies were not designed to sit still for long period of time, so if you sit behind a desk all day make sure to change your position regularly. Try and get up every twenty minutes and have a walk around to work your muscles, and stretch out when needed.

Take care of your neck

Pain in your neck can throw your whole body off balance, and it is usually caused by repetitive actions. Continually looking down at a smartphone is bad for your neck and because everyone does this regularly, it is hard to persuade people to forget about their phones. Another bad posture deed is holding a phone between your ear and shoulder, so try not to cradle a handset.

Postural correction

If you really want to take steps to improve your posture, and in turn improve your health and wellbeing, you can visit a chiropractor for a postural assessment and correction. A back specialists, chiropractors can evaluate a person’s posture and identify what is out of balance before recommending any treatment. Patients will understand what causes poor posture and learn the best ways to stand and sit.

Everyone is guilty of poor posture sometimes, so why not correct the problem before it turns into a long term issue?

How to Keep your Back Healthy this Summer

Keeping your spine happy and healthy is really important to avoid chronic back pain, and summer especially is a time when back health is rarely prioritised. As the weather warms up and most people head off on summer holidays, physical activity (or lack of) can be a problem and can even trigger back pain. There are many activities we get involved in during this time of year which can be harmful to our back now or at a later stage.

From playing summer sports such as golf, tennis and bowls, to sitting still for long periods of time on long haul journeys, summer can put extreme stress on our backs. Here are some top tips for keeping your back healthy this summer.

Gardening

We all want our gardens to look their best in peak season – but too much bending in the garden can be a contributing factor to back pain. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, planting bedding plants or lifting plant pots and watering cans, general garden maintenance can wreak havoc on your spine. Use specialised back-friendly tools such as long-handed trowels and rakes, and when bending always use a kneeler or cushioned support.

Golf

When the weather is fine, golf enthusiasts like to get on the green and play as many holes as possible! Whether playing at home or abroad, it’s important not to let that golf swing affect the rest of your holiday or summer. Frequent players can experience back pain or more serious problems, and some pro golfers have had to undergo back pain treatment or surgery. To avoid injury, always stretch before starting the game and try not to over-swing or twist too much.

Long haul travel

Image of a plane causing back pain

Everybody looks forward to their summer holidays, but a long haul flight or car ride can flare up back pain and ruin your holiday. It is difficult to keep a correct posture during flights, and a survey by Spine Universe revealed that 88% of people experience back or neck pain during or after a flight. There isn’t much you can do to improve the comfort on an aeroplane, but try and get up to walk around every 40 minutes. You should also stretch out the back regularly and use a neck pillow to support the neck and spine.

Swimming and diving

Diving into pools without proper technique has the potential to cause neck or spine injury. Jumping into water at an awkward angle can be dangerous, so it is recommended to never jump or dive into lakes or pools when you are alone. If you plan to do a lot of swimming over the summer, practice a range of different strokes and techniques and don’t keep your head above water all of the time, as this can place pressure on the neck.

Summer can take its toll on your back – follow these tips to keep pain free.