Summer travel is for adventure, quality time with friends and family, and hopefully relaxation! But sometimes, whether it’s stress, travel, or sleeping on a mattress that isn’t yours, back pain can be a source of frustration for many. While exercise is key for a strong and healthy spine - here are some quick changes that are easy to implement during holidays and travel. Dr. Anan Mathre shares her six practical and easy-to-implement tips for keeping back pain at bay, so you can take care of yourself and enjoy your summer this year, pain-free.
Take Breaks From Sitting
There’s nothing wrong with sitting, but too much sitting can put a lot of load or pressure, on your spine which can be bothersome for some. An easy fix is to get up and take a break from sitting. It's just that simple. If you’re traveling by plane, train or car ride, aim to get up and move at least once an hour, if possible and this will relieve your spine from that increased pressure and give your body a quick reset.
Similarly, Take Breaks From Standing
When standing for a long period of time, our lower back spine is in an extended position. This is a normal and healthy position for your back to be in but sometimes too much of one static position can be an irritant. An easy fix is simply to take a quick break and either walk or sit. A quick minute of sitting can be the position your back needs before getting back to standing and being on the move.
This one is easy - drink more water! We know water is great for skin, digestion, and basically all of our bodily functions, but did you know that it helps with keeping our spines healthy as well? The discs in our spine act like cushions between our bones, absorbing load, and pressure. They need to stay hydrated in order to perform at their best, allowing our spines to move in every direction with great lubrication! Simply drink more water to help keep your spine flexible and strong.
Ask For Help
You might find yourself in the position of moving large, heavy, awkwardly shaped objects like grabbing carry-on luggage from the overhead bins, or a heavy cast iron pan from the oven in the kitchen - don’t hesitate to ask for help. The holidays sometimes mean that we’re out of our normal routine which means we might find ourselves in the position of physically handling more than we’re used to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help instead of unnecessarily taxing your body. A few key tips for moving heavier objects located on the ground? Bend down by bending your legs in a squat position, hug the object close to your chest, and get back up by straightening your legs to stand up rather than extending through your spine.
Use Towels and Pillows For Extra Support
It’s no secret that a good mattress is key for a pain-free spine. Luckily there’s a few easy ways to make any mattress instantly more comfortable. If you’re a side sleeper, try a small flat pillow in between the knees, this supports your spine in more of a neutral, rather than twisted position while you sleep. You can also try rolling up a small hand towel and placing it between the mattress and the side of your waist, this helps fill in the natural gap of the waist and again, support your spine in a more neutral position. If you enjoy sleeping on your back, try a pillow under both your knees for similar support. One of my personal favorite items to recommend is the Tush Cush! Shaped like a wedge, this seat cushion helps keep your pelvis tilted in a neutral position and helps to prop up your spine to keep from slouching. It's great for desk work, long plane or car rides.
Do What Feels Good For You
Every back is different. What feels good for one person might not work for another. At the end of the day, take care of yourself best by listening to your body and taking a moment for self-care. It's more important than ever during the busy and activity-filled summer. Upgrade your self-care moment with Kindra's Soothe Bath Soak. Transform your bathtub into a soothing retreat and relax your muscles with a good soak. Soothe's formula features the patent-pending Nourish-3 Complex which contains a gentle yet effective clinically-studied peptide shown to provide comfort to sensitive skin Sleep-supporting chamomile to help calm the skin and mind, and omega-rich, restorative oat kernel extract for skin healing support and hydration.