09 Tue

Vacation Self Help Kits: Part 1

Vacation self-help kits: Part 1

MICHELLE MILLNER, PT, DPT, OCS

 

 

I have been afflicted with a serious case of wanderlust.  Most of the time it’s kept in check with weekends away, but every few years, an epic adventure must take place to satisfy the wanderlust.

From Thanksgiving to mid January this year, I rambled through New Zealand and
Australia, gorging myself on the food, sights, and activities.  It truly was an EPIC adventure with glacier climbs, shark cage diving, hikes across volcanos, and a host of other crazy activities.

The only challenges were the aches and pains induced by my adventures. Fortunately, I have a bit of knowledge in this area and was prepared to 1. prevent injury and 2. treat myself.

Being able to prevent and treat your own aches and pains becomes a very valuable when you are thousands of miles from anything or anyone you know. The first step is to know what to pack in your self help kit.

  1. A small emergency medical kit:  This should have all the basics of first aid, including bandages, over the counter anti inflammatory and pain relieving medication, antibacterial ointment, tweezers, scissors, etc. Most pharmacies and outdoor stores sell small kits with all the essentials.
  2. A lacrosse ball: By far this was my most useful tool in my kit. A lacrosse ball is your own massage therapist. You can use it to get to most muscles in your body. It’s extremely helpful for treating muscle aches and pains.
  3. A theraband. This is the easiest way to keep up with strength training and it barely takes up any space in your luggage.
  4.  Your favorite pillow. Pillows are important for maintaining a healthy sleeping posture, but they can also be used to improve sitting posture and reduce strain on your back during prolonged sitting.

In the next post we’ll talk about specific techniques of using the lacrosse ball to treat common aches including sore feet, calves and thighs.

 

 

Image courtesy of Poulsen Photo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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