Are You Going Away For March Break? Don’t Let an Overstuffed Bag Ruin Your Vacation!

It’s easy to get carried away and pack everything “just in case,” but remember overpacked luggage and improper lifting and carrying techniques are common causes of back, neck and shoulder injuries. Luckily, many of these injuries can be avoided with a little pre-planning.

For more tips on maintaining a healthy back visit OCA

Choose and pack your luggage carefully
  • Give serious thought to your destination, itinerary and pack only what you absolutely need.
  • Choose sturdy, light, high-quality pieces of luggage. If it’s too heavy too lift when it’s empty, don’t buy it.
  • Lighten your load by choosing luggage with wheels and a handle.
  • Use a quality backpack as your carry-on. Make sure it has adjustable, padded shoulder straps and a waist strap to minimize the bag’s movement. When packed, it shouldn’t weigh any more than 10 to 15 per cent of your body weight. 
  • Pack your carry-on luggage carefully, placing heavy items at the bottom of the bag and making full use of the pockets to organize smaller items. 
Practice safe lifting techniques
  • Even if your suitcase has wheels, lifting your luggage can’t always be avoided. Reduce your your risk of injury by moving slowly and, whenever possible, breaking the lifting action into smaller parts. For example, when loading your suitcase into the trunk of a car, try lifting it first onto a chair or step-stool, then lifting it into the trunk.
  • When lifting, get close to your luggage and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees and let your leg muscles—not your back—do the lifting.

    Avoid twisting motions; instead, turn your feet in the direction you are headed and turn your entire body in that direction.

Use common sense

  • Don’t carry bulky luggage for long periods of time.  
  • Carry lighter items in each hand rather than a single heavy item on one side.   
  • If using a duffel or shoulder bag, switch sides often to reduce the strain on your back, neck and shoulders.

    Injuries that result from improper lifting and carrying a heavy load don’t just affect your vacation, they often become chronic and can impact your quality of life. If you experience pain that lasts longer than two or three days, call Ajax-Pickering Village Chiropractic at 905-427-3202 and book a chiropractic assessment.