The summer holidays are something we all look forward to – spending time with family and friends, getting out and about, doing new activities or jumping into the car to head off on a classic Kiwi roadie! It’s also a time that we see an interesting variety of injuries coming through the door.
Here are a few tips that might help reduce your chance of injury.
Driving/travel – Holidays often mean quite a bit of travelling either by car, boat or plane. There can be long periods of time sitting and often not in the most comfortable position. This can place significant stress on the lower back and neck with sub-optimal postures. When driving, try to avoid resting your arm up on the door as this can place unnecessary stress on the shoulder region. Sitting on your wallet is another no no. And remember to keep hydrated and take frequent breaks and change posture regularly.
Jandals – Wearing jandals all summer long can result in foot issues, in particular heel pain (otherwise known as plantarfascia pain). A good idea is to go jandal free and to have a tennis ball handy to roll the arches of your feet.
Pillows – Take your own pillow with you on holiday, especially if you have problems with your neck or back. We’re often in different beds and so it’s nice to have your favourite pillow to help catch those much needed zzzzzz’s.
Activity levels – Summer time is a great time for people to take up new activities or exercise more vigorously. Any sudden increase in load or intensity can put you at risk of developing an injury. So take time to increase your activity levels slowly and enjoy getting out there without risking any strains.
Backyard games – Games that haven’t been played for a while can take their toll if you’re not used to that sort of movement. Backyard cricket, touch rugby and beach volleyball are a few common culprits. It may seem a bit silly, but take some time to limber up and get ready for action – much better than having to deal with a ruptured achilles or groin strain later…
DIY – Getting some of those jobs done around the house is a great summer pass-time; but it’s good to be mindful of the type of work you’re doing and the impact on your body. Taking breaks during the day and changing movement patterns is helpful. For example, painting the ceiling or deck can put your neck under strain and develop into a real pain in the neck if you’re not careful.
Gardening – The ground is usually pretty hard during the summer so digging can be hard work. Make sure you wear supportive shoes, take breaks and change activity and movement to ease the strain on backs, necks, shoulders and hands.
Sharing the load – Lifting bags and gear in and out of the car, to the camping ground, beach, home or boat can be tough going. Share the load with the heavy items and be careful with bending and twisting at the same time and this can put tension and stress on the spinal structures.
If you do get yourself into a pickle with an injury, we’ll be open during the holiday period, so don’t hesitate to give us a call on 09 378 6890 and get yourself back on track to enjoy your summer.