Tips for pain free camping

With the warm weather, the camping season has arrived and it’s timely offer some tips to avoid aggravating your back

  • If you’re driving, make sure
    • Your car seat is adjusted to support your spine and is as upright as possible
    • Take regular breaks, at least every 1.5 hours and do some stretching and walk about for 5 – 10 mins to help release tension and improve blood flow to your back muscles
  • If your going by train
    • Same thing, get up and move about every hour ,doing some stretches if there’s room
  • Take care packing, lifting and carrying
    • Two bags are better than one as they are lighter to lift, pack and when carrying help distribute the load better for your body reducing strain to your back
    • When you lift and carry, avoid reaching, lifting and twisting as this a very common way of hurting your back. Take care to brace and protect your back, tuck in you abdominal muscles and pull up your pelvic floor muscles. If you have to twist turn your whole body from your feet up rather than just your back.
    • If your taking a back pack watch some YouTube videos on how to pack it. Keep it as light as possible and place heavy items at the bottom of the pack and adjusting the straps for a comfortable fit and to keep the weight on your hips
  • Plan for activities
    • If you’ve been less active over the winter, plan to start improving your fitness levels a few weeks before you go
    • A couple of weeks before you go, check you have the right equipment, it fits and is in good order
  • Take an icepack in your cool bag! 
    • When you arrive, lie on the floor with your knees up and the ice pack under your low back for 10 minutes. This helps to realign your spine and reduces the pressure on the discs and joints that sitting in the car has created.
  • Pitching your tent
    • Take a short break when you arrive, stretch out and try and get your equipment as close to your pitch as possible to avoid unnecessary carrying
    • Find a flat surface and remove any large rocks or sticks. Be aware of any excessive bending when putting up your tent and knocking pegs into the ground, getting down on all fours to takes the pressure off your back and use your legs where possible
    • Ensure your back is protected against a hard and potentially damp surface by sleeping on a blow up mattress or thick camping mattress. Blow up mattress can be cold so sleep with a blanket or better still a duvet on top of the mattress
    • Although practical, sleeping bags are harder to turn over in, so if you have a bad back consider unzipping your sleeping bag or taking your duvet instead
    • Take your pillow from home, sleeping without enough neck support and in a draft are common causes of stiff necks in the morning

If your do injure your back and it doesn’t resolve after a few days, why not give us a call to see if osteopathic treatment might help