1. Luggage

Luggage can often be heavy and difficult to carry. Carrying awkward, heavy luggage is a common cause of neck, shoulder and back pain if you are not used to it. To reduce the risk of this try:

  • packing lightly
  • using a backpack fitted especially for you
  • using a portable trolley if carrying suitcases and boxes. These can be purchased from most luggage specialist stores and department stores.
  • always using airport trolleys when available.

2. The plane journey

Sitting for long periods in aeroplane seats can be particularly stressful to your back. Plane seats offer little support for the lumbar spine forcing it into an excessively bent position. The lumbar discs between the vertebra are put under strain in sustained sitting, bending and twisting. The discs are made up of a flexible outer shell that contain a thick gel like material. If the disc contents are forced backwards as in sitting then the flexible outer shell can bulge out causing pain and stiffness. It is often difficult to bend and straighten comfortably. Occasionally the sciatic nerve can be affected causing pain down the leg.