The smell of sun cream, the feeling of sun on your back and OUCH – what on earth was that? As the sun is starting to make a more regular appearance, many of us have started thinking about setting off for a well-needed change of scene – but what happens when your holiday plans go to pot because of an injury?
In one of our most recent blog posts, we gave you some great ideas for seeking out active staycations and, more importantly, how to avoid injury by preparing your body for these new activities post-lockdown. But sometimes accidents and injuries can still occur and not only make a dent in the holiday fun, but also leave you with continued discomfort when you arrive back home.
When it comes to minor injuries, it can often feel like more hassle to seek help for them than to just live with the discomfort but it’s important to remember that if something is causing you pain there is usually a reason for it, and with that a solution.
So, if you’ve experienced one of these minor injuries while on holiday or even just living your daily life, have a read and learn how you can deal with them or when it’s time to seek professional help with your rehabilitation.
Sprained ankles can often be caused when the ankle rolls, twists or turns beyond its natural range of motion in a way that stretches or tears the ligaments. This can often be a result of running or walking on uneven ground when the ankle is not trained properly and can be really painful and disruptive to your daily life.
If you find yourself with a suspected sprained ankle whether that be from a holiday hike or a run, here’s what you need to do to get a little PEACE in your life:
- Protect it – unload or restrict movements for 1 – 3 days but keep it moving letting pain guide you
- Elevate – keep it higher than your heart to help reduce swelling
- Avoid anti-inflammatory drugs and ice as they can negatively impact tissue healing
- Compress – ASAP after you injured it to reduce swelling and bruising but be careful not to do so too tight!
- Educate yourself on rehab options available and how to prevent re-injuring yourself!
Whiplash occurs when the neck is forced into a fast back-and-forth motion, often relating to falls, sports and car accidents. Recovery with whiplash can vary depending on the severity of the injury which is why it’s really important to seek out help if you suspect whiplash.
Had a nasty fall while on a horse-riding holiday or a road trip? Here’s what I suggest:
Firstly, get yourself checked for concussion. You don’t need to have hit your head to get concussion. There are lots of different signs and symptoms of concussion from headaches, brain fog, emotional symptoms, balanced impairment, sleep disturbances etc so if in doubt get in touch. Just like an injury to your body, your brain can get injured too and it sometimes needs a special rehab programme to help it.
Early intervention for whiplash really improves the chances of an easy recovery. So rest, appropriate pain relief and basic stretching activities can make a big difference to how you feel. Just like with concussion there can be a range of symptoms including a stiff, painful neck, impact to balance, sleep disturbances, memory problems, depression, and tinnitus. So support early on can have a positive impact!
Calf strain can be incredibly sore and debilitating, especially when you’re trying to enjoy your summer getaway. Calf strain often occurs through over-stretching or over-loading the calf muscle and feels like a popping, snapping or tearing of the calf.
If you think you might have strained your calf, here are my tips:
Just like with your ankle, think about the PEACE action steps and ask for help! With good, appropriately timed rehab support a lot can be done to heal your muscle and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
Similar to a strained calf, a pulled hamstring often occurs when the muscle is over-stretched during exercise or stretching. So, whether you’ve been running around on the beach or simply over-stretching after a family hike, I suggest following the PEACE components and try to avoid massage in the first few days as this can reinjure the tissue all over again.
Lower Back Pain
Many of us deal with lower back pain in our daily lives due to a variety of reasons like; poor posture, weak core muscles, or trapped nerves. Taking your back pain on holiday with you is never fun, especially if you have a flare-up while you’re trying to enjoy time away.
Unfortunately, our spines don’t deal with erratic change very well, particularly as we get older, which is why it’s so important to take the necessary steps to try and prepare your back for new activities or movements. But accidents can still happen, so if you’ve found yourself with lower back pain on holiday or after you have returned, here’s what you need to do:
- Find positions of comfort and relief! For some people this may mean being in back extension via something like the half cobra position (see image below) and for others the back will be more comfortable in flexion with your legs on a chair (see image below)
- Keep moving little and often
- Are suddenly unable to go to the toilet or can’t stop yourself going or feel numbness as a result of your back pain then this might be a medical emergency and you should either speak to your GP ASAP, dial 111 or go to your local A&E department to get this checked out.
- Try adding a pillow under your knees / between your legs when you sleep
If you feel like you may need to see a professional or get some advice on how to treat your discomfort, I’m just one call away! I offer a free consultation so we can really look at your pain and figure out the best course of action for you to take – whether that is joining one of my small classes to build your strength and avoid injury, or whether you need more 1:1 rehabilitation treatment.
If you’re interested in relinquishing the hold your injuries, aches and pains have on your life then get in touch today and sign up to my monthly newsletter to stay in the loop with my latest classes, local news and offers.