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How to Prevent Back Pain at Festivals

These days there seems to be a festival out there to suit every taste; from music to literature, food to arts and even hats!

We also know that walking miles from stall to stall and stage to stage can cause havoc on a weak back. Dancing, as good fitness as it is, can also be a strain on the body, as can carrying heavy tents, chairs and sitting on hard floors.

With this in mind, our chiropractors have put together some advice to help minimise the impact on your back and neck. 

Carrying: Try and make sure you have a bag with 2 straps to wear on both shoulders, it’s the best way to balance the weight through your back. Don’t, however, sling it over one shoulder as it is not going to help! Adjust the straps so that the rucksack sits closely on your back; the shorter the straps the less weight you’ll feel. If you do have a lot of things to carry such as tents and sleeping bags, then it is best to spread the load evenly across two bags and carry one in each hand rather than to carry one heavy bag.

Standing: Wear a comfortable pair of shoes. Also, when you are standing, keep feet shoulder width apart which will give your back and hips the best possible support. Check your posture to make sure all the weight isn’t all in the front or back of your feet. If your weight is evenly distributed here, then it’s more likely its being evenly distributed up and down your spine.

Camping: Try finding a flat spot or try and even out the ground by removing rocks and sticks before you pitch the tent. Don’t rely on ground mats but try and get a good quality blow up mattress, often the ones with multiple air pockets tend to stay inflated the longest. Using a good blow up pillow should also help. If you are sleeping on your side, see if you can get someone to make sure that your spine is in alignment in that position. On your back, your chin should not be squashed up against your chest or poking in the air. 

Good chair: Sit down when you can! You can get really small fold up camping chairs these days, which can just give your body that little rest when you’ve been traipsing round in the mud all day.

Massage: Some festivals have healing fields. Try popping down there and getting a massage!

Core: If you have time before your festival spend a couple of times a week getting your body in shape. Strengthening your core can really help protect you against back pain and muscle fatigue.

Chiropractic: If your body is painful after standing and walking for long periods of time then it is likely that there may some misalignment or restrictions in the spine, pelvis or neck. Get your chiropractor to check you out before you go and get everything properly aligned to give your body the best chance of coping with the added stress that festivals can cause.

Follow the above and help protect your back and have a safe and fun festival time!

Elizabeth Garvey
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