FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Back Injuries

Dec 1, 2010
2010 / December 2010

Our backs are remarkable. They support our bodies through everyday activities including sitting, standing, walking and lifting. We often take them for granted until we injure them. Problems with any of the back’s component parts — bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, disks and nerves — can cause pain, but most often discomfort stems from muscles and ligaments strained by improper lifting or awkward movement. In some cases, there is a structural problem such as a bulging or ruptured disk, sciatica, arthritis, osteoporosis or skeletal irregularities. The exact cause is unknown in 85 percent of cases, despite advances in medical technology.

Symptoms include muscle ache, shooting pain, pain that travels down your leg, limited range of motion or flexibility or the inability to stand straight. Acute back pain lasts for a few days; pain that lasts more than three months is considered chronic. See your doctor if you do not feel improvement in 72 hours; if you experience back pain for the first time after age 50; or if you have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, steroid use or alcohol or drug use.

Risk factors include sedentary work, physically strenuous work, being female, being older, smoking and obesity. Smokers have decreased oxygen levels in their spinal tissue, reducing the back’s ability to heal. Extra weight puts strain on your back muscles. Anxiety, depression or a stressful job can also be contributing factors.

Seven out of 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. It is the most common reason for physician office visits and absence from work in the United States. Interestingly, 70 percent of people with an episode of low back pain will be better in one month, no matter what they do, and close to 90 percent will improve within three months. Prolonged bed rest was once prescribed for back pain, with a very slow progression to activity. Experts now recommend minimal bed rest, one or two days. Muscles begin to weaken after several days of inactivity and may be more likely to contract and spasm.

Studies show that people who performed specific exercises for acute back pain did not experience greater improvement than those who did not exercise. However, getting out of bed and moving as much as pain allows does speed recovery. Listen to your body and move around as much as you can. Rest in a comfortable position when pain and stiffness intensify, but don’t let rest periods extend for hours.

Medical exams for back pain may include X-rays, a CT scan or MRI. For pain management, you may take acetaminophen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or a prescribed mild muscle relaxant. Medications for severe back pain include narcotics, given only for a short time under supervision; low-dose tricyclic antidepressants; and epidural injections into your spinal column. Alternative medicine methods for back pain include herbal treatments and hands-on therapy such as chiropractic care, acupuncture and massage. Some people find that mind-body techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy and progressive relaxation are helpful.

If your back pain returns, consider having a follow-up visit with your doctor, who may want to monitor your weight, prescribe exercise or refer you to specialists to rule out a life-threatening cause of back pain. Surgery is rarely recommended.

Walking, back strengthening and stretching exercises can prevent or reduce most back pain incidents. Good body mechanics also helps. The Gokhale Method, for example, teaches healthy posture and movement to help you sit, sleep, stand, walk and bend in ways that protect and strengthen your bones and muscles. Based on research of indigenous cultures, the method emphasizes everyday movement rather than periodic exercise sessions so that you naturally incorporate a newfound “body wisdom” into daily activities.

When traveling in a confined space, move around as much as possible. Roll a pillow, blanket or sweater into a lower back support and use an inflatable neck pillow. Adjust your seat and footrest to a comfortable position. Regularly assess your comfort and readjust your position frequently. Get up and walk around the plane to prevent back muscles from stiffening.

Try this stretching exercise in your hotel room (check with your physician first). Lie on your back on the floor or the bed with a towel or low pillow under your head and neck. Bend your knees, grasp your right leg below the knee and gently pull toward your chest; hold for 20 seconds and release. Repeat with the left leg. Repeat 10 times. For more information, visit http://www.nlm.nih.gov.


Back Packing

Use lightweight luggage with spinner wheels

Pack lightly in several smaller bags rather than one large bag

If heavy luggage is unavoidable, ship it ahead of time

Lift luggage slowly; break movement into smaller steps

Bend at the knees and use the legs to lift

Pivot with the feet, not the back, when lifting

Carry heavy luggage close to your body

Carry the same amount of weight on each side of your body

If handling one bag, switch sides often


The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Dec 9, 2022

Icelandair Welcomes New North American Gateway: Detroit

Icelandair recently announced its newest North American gateway: Detroit, Michigan. The seasonal flights begin May 18, 2023, taking off from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Reykjavik (KEF), Iceland. The four weekly, non-stop flights will run through Oct. 30, 2023. Flight 872 departs Detroit for Iceland Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 8:30 p.m., on a 160-seat Boeing 737MAX. The return, from Reykjavik to Detroit, departs 5 p.m. on the same days of the week, arriving at 6:25 p.m.

Alaskan Wild Wonders by Celebrity Cruises

Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.

Daily
Dec 9, 2022

Winter Walking Trips with The Wilderness Group

If your personal travel nirvana involves fabulous scenery and a snappy, reviving hike in bracing winter air, Bannikin Travel & Tourism hopes to make your dreams come true with a selection of new winter walking itineraries in Scotland (other trip options are available in England and Ireland). Here’s what you can look forward to in 2023:

Daily
Dec 8, 2022

The Hotel Das Rüebezahl on Tegelberg Mountain

As of November 2022, Rohrkopfhutte (mountain hut) on Germany’s Tegelberg mountain reopened, and the dream view from the terrace, of the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau and the stunning Schwangauer Alpsee, can be seen in the valley below.

Discover Seoul’s Sustainable Side

Awareness about fair and sustainable travel continues to grow around the globe, with travelers everywhere considering a destination’s eco-friendly options before visiting. As public consciousness for this important aspect of tourism strengthens, tourists also look beyond just ecotourism and delve deeper into types of travel that allow them to respect the local culture, interact with locals and distribute benefits fairly.

December 2022
Dec 8, 2022

Mail Call December 2022

Q&A with Haley Fogarty, Advertising Manager

eFlyer Reviews
Dec 7, 2022

Workshop Kitchen + Bar Review

Palm Springs became a destination of legend when Hollywood’s biggest and brightest during cinema’s “Golden Age” turned the desert community into their glamourous backyard. While restaurants and hotels epitomizing definitive Palm Springs luxury open, adapt and change with the times, it says something that one of its hottest restaurants sets up an outpost back in Los Angeles. And that’s exactly what chef Michael Beckman and restaurateur Joe Mourani did on the southern tip of the always-evolving Fairfax District.

Lose Track of Time in Savannah, Georgia

Sweet tea. Soul food. Y'all. Sound familiar? Though these words and phrases are commonly associated with the South, it's understood in any language. If you're seeking a city abroad that will enchant you, capture your attention from start to finish and welcome everyone as family, we cordially invite you to visit Savannah.

eFlyer News
Dec 7, 2022

Six Senses to Open First Australian Property in the Dandenong Ranges

Six Senses recently announced plans to open its first Australian property in Burnham Beeches, a heritage mansion built in 1933 and situated on the 22 hectares of fern glades and forested hills of the Dandenong Ranges. The property lies 24 miles from Melbourne and neighbors Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, one of the country’s finest examples of domestic Art Deco.