Camping is great summer activity for the whole family to enjoy, where you finally get to leave the bustling city centre and see some open country. Unfortunately, for many campers this summer the experience will be one of misery and discomfort brought on by chronic back pain. This is something that Chiropractors across the UK see every summer and this year the British Chiropractic Association have issued a number of recommendations for comfortable camping.
Sleeping away from your standard mattress, especially when the alternative is sleeping on hard or damp surfaces, can cause a whole host of problems for your back. By taking these simple steps you can guarantee a comfortable night’s sleep that leaves you feeling completely refreshed.
1. Sleep on a Camping Mat or an Inflatable Mattress
Rather than sleeping on the ground, take a quality approved camping mat or an inflatable mattress with you. This will protect your back against hard or damp surfaces. Remember to try out any product in the shop before you buy it to make sure it feels right – most outdoor shops will have samples available to try out.
2. Beforehand: Prepare Your Sleeping Area
Find a suitable area to pitch up your tent or camping gear and make your mark. Remove any large or point stones and sharp sticks that could dig into your spine whilst you sleep.
3. Keep Hydrated throughout the Day and Night
Dehydration can cause stiffened tissues in the back. Especially if it you are camping in hot, humid weather conditions, try to stay fully hydrated by drinking plenty of water during the day and keep a bottle nearby during the night.
4. Sleep as naturally as possible
Whilst this may not be the easiest thing to achieve, try and sleep in a natural position where your spine is kept in as straight a line as possible. If you are using a sleeping bag, leave part of the bag open if necessary to help you achieve a straight posture whilst sleeping. All this helps you to avoid incurring neck and back pain.
5. Heavy Lifting
A massive 60% of Britons believe that lifting and carrying is the most likely cause of back pain, so awareness is not the issue. Put this into practice by following safe procedures for heavy lifting and other manual activities you may be engaged in whilst camping, particularly when packing and unpacking your gear.
Lift heavy objects using a relaxed, straight posture with your feet apart, your knees bent and your head and shoulders above the waist at all times. Also, try to pack your gear evenly and distribute weight effectively. This will help reduce back strain whilst carrying your gear around.
If you are worried about back pain or you have been suffering with it on either an acute or a chronic level, remember that you can contact the Fairlee Wellbeing Centre at any time and arrange an appointment with one of our Chiropractors.