Minimizing Back Pain on a Vacation



Minimizing Back Pain on a Vacation
July 17, 2014

PLAN AHEAD

Plan your vacation while keeping your medical condition in mind. 

Visit or call your doctor.  Let him or her know you will be traveling and discuss any added precautions and medication needs.

Check with your health insurance regarding your out of state or out of country coverage.

Share your medical condition with your travel companion in case you need their help.  Let them know where they can find your medication and any emergency information.

Request a vehicle that best accommodates your back condition if you are renting a car.

If you are staying in a hotel, ask to stay on the ground floor and the closest walking distance to the parking lot.

If you are taking your own vehicle, get a tune up and have your tires check.  Changing a tire or tending to a smoking engine on the side of the road is tough and stressful.

STUDY YOUR DESTINATION

Map out the nearest hospital and pharmacy from your vacation location and write down their phone numbers.

If your destination has some challenging terrain or off road travel check for modifications such as an alternate route.

What is the weather going to be like?  You would not want to be caught in slippery shoes in the rain or without a jacket in the cold wind.  These type situations put strain on the back.

PACK FOR SUCCESS

Pack shoes and clothing that will be both comfortable and able to accommodate the weather, activities and the terrain adequately.

Bring comfort items that work for you such as a support pillow or a heat pack.

Have a current list of your medications, brief medical history, and your doctor’s phone number handy.

LIFTING

It’s hard not to lift heavy things during a vacation.  Luggage, pets, and excited grandchildren are just a few examples that require attention.  If you have to lift, do it at a minimum and use your legs when you lift, keeping your back straight.  If lifting an object feels like a strain, try an alternative method or ask for help.

DON’T WAIT

If your back condition is flaring up, it’s time to rest.  Take your medication as prescribed and if you have an “as needed” medication for pain, do not wait until the pain is unbearable to start taking it.

RELAX AND ENJOY

Listen to your body, relax, and stay at a pace you can handle.  Take your time and don’t hesitate to stop and rest or change the day’s events if you feel it is best for your health.