Protecting Your Spine On Spring Break

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Spine Travel Tips

A spring break vacation can be a great way to get out of the cold Minnesota temperatures and spend some time with friends or family, but this major shift in your daily schedule can also cause issues for your back and your whole body. We’re not saying that every choice you make on vacation needs to have the best interest of your health in mind, but know that a spring break adventure can be hard on your spine. If you are already dealing with spinal discomfort prior to your trip, you’ll want to be a little more mindful about caring for your spine on vacation. In today’s blog, we share some tips for keeping your spine healthy while on spring break or a similar vacation.

Healthy Spine Habits On Spring Break

As we alluded to in the introduction, a vacation will likely push your body out of some of its normal routines. You may be stuck traveling in a seated position for hours, have your circadian rhythm thrown for a loop and eat different cuisine than you normally would at home, and all of this can be hard on your body. Here’s how to keep a spring break trip from wreaking havoc on your body.

  • Stay Active – We understand that your ideal vacation may involve putting your feet up and reading a good book on the beach, but be sure that you still take a little time each day to challenge your body with activity, especially if you were stuck in a car or on an airplane for an extended period. Take a walk on the beach, swim some laps in the pool or walk around downtown as you check out some shops. Try to incorporate activity into your day-to-day routine while on vacation.
  • Wear The Right Shoes – Maybe you’re headed to some place where you expect to do a lot of movement each day. Perhaps you’re headed out west to do some hiking or you’re off to Disney World to check out the Magical Kingdom. Make sure that you pack the right shoes for the activity. If you’ll be on your feet for the majority of the day, you need a shoe that is comfortable, supportive and protective based on the activities you’ll be performing. Pain in your feet can cause problems for your posture and your spine, so protect your feet if you’ll be doing a lot of walking on vacation.
  • Mind Your Diet – It can be easy to indulge some bad eating habits when you’re on vacation, especially if you’re at an all-inclusive or you can’t always prepare your own meals like you would at home. We want you to have a little fun and explore the local cuisine, but try to make some healthy choices each and every day. A poor diet can be pro-inflammatory, causing back pain to develop or worsen, and it can also lead to weight gain. Added weight puts additional strain on your back, so don’t pack on the pounds on vacation.
  • Sunscreen – Not only can sunburn make the rest of your vacation uncomfortable, but it can also increase your risk of certain cancers. Our backs and shoulders are prime candidates for sunburn, so make sure that you apply sunscreen generously and you have someone help apply sunscreen if you can’t reach all spots on your back.
  • Stick To Your Rehab Schedule – If you’re currently pursuing exercise or physical therapy as a form of treatment for a previous back issue, don’t let your spring break trip get you out of your routine. Carve out 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day to do your exercises and to help your body keep progressing towards your recovery goal. If you develop bad habits on vacation, they may stick when you get back home, so try not to let a trip erase all the progress you’ve made already.
  • Stay Hydrated – When muscles in your spine are dehydrated, they are more likely to spasm, cramp or become injured when exposed to stress. If you’re in a warm location or doing a lot of walking on your vacation, it can be easy to get dehydrated in a hurry. Make it a point to drink plenty of water throughout the trip so that your spinal muscles can continue to work optimally.

If you suffer a new back injury on vacation or want to take care of a lingering issue before your trip, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.


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