It’s that time of year when school is getting out and Phoenix is starting to heat up and the thing on the minds of many families is “VACATION!” Whether you usually go out of state, or look for budget-friendly “stay-cation” ideas, taking a break from the bustle of life is very important; and relaxing vacations are proven to reduce stress and improve overall health.
However, if you have a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome condition, there are worries that go along with the fun of planning a vacation. Will your arthritis flare-up, putting a damper on the fun? Will headaches or migraines interfere with activities that are planned? If your sciatica flares up, how will you get around from place-to-place? The point of a vacation is to enjoy yourself, and enjoy quality time with family and friends, but it is also to “recharge the batteries.” You need to pick an activity or spot that will help rejuvenate your body and actually lessen, not add to, pain symptoms. You and those around you will have a much better time and get home feeling refreshed and less stressed!
1. Travel light! Handling heavy bags can cause or aggravate back pain by straining muscles and joints.
2. If you have no choice in handling heavy luggage: Always bend at the knees; use leg muscles rather than back muscles to lift; carry heavy items as close to the body as possible; for shoulder bags, switch sides often to avoid stressing one side of the back.
3. Place a towel, small pillow or your jacket on your lower back for long road trips.
4. Use an inflatable travel pillow that fits around the neck to avoid neck strain while resting or sleeping in a sitting position in a plane or car.
5. Get up and stretch as often as possible – prolonged sitting in the same position will cause or aggravate back pain.
6. Use cruise-control for long drives to avoid cramping in the leg, hip or lower back.
7. Mind your posture! Take some tips from our correct posture form blog to avoid headaches.
8. If you’re going out of state, look at relaxing destinations that are all-inclusive and don’t require a lot of physical stress to get from place to place. Beach resorts are ideal, as are cruises.
9. If a stay-cation is more realistic for your budget, look at spa-weekends and local getaways – maybe take advantage of some of Arizona’s scenic drives and nature, or get out of the heat and head into the mountains.
Whatever you do, we hope you have time for relaxation and fun with your loved ones this summer. If you have any questions, please let your Pain Stop physician know, or call us for a free consultation at 480-331-4222.