Step = ow!
November 22, 2010 4:24 AM   Subscribe

What can I do for my lower back pain while I'm traveling in a foreign country?

Maybe its having my camera bag hanging from my neck all day, or a poor choice of traveling shoes, but I'm traveling around Tokyo and whenever I walk more than a mile or so I start feeling a dull pain growing around my lower back. What can I do so this doesn't ruin the rest of my trip? I'm usually in pretty good shape and I havent had any problems like this before.
posted by ManyNinjas to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Try the McKenzie Back Exercises. You'll need no special equipment, just a floor you can lie on, and they should give you relief.
posted by DrGail at 4:41 AM on November 22, 2010 [3 favorites]

Take 2 Advils before you even start your walk. Ice the affected area after you return — apply ice for 20 minutes; repeat after a 20 minute rest, up to 3 cycles. Don't apply heat.
posted by beagle at 4:53 AM on November 22, 2010

According to my physical therapist, lying on the floor and putting your feet up on, say, a bed or a chair relieves the pressure on your spine.

Lying in this fashion at the beginning or end of your day for about 10-20 mins - or after a walk - might help.
posted by halfguard at 6:16 AM on November 22, 2010

If your budget allows, it would be helpful to invest in better walking shoes with good arch support.
posted by dorkydancer at 6:21 AM on November 22, 2010

My wife has had really good results from Trigger Point therapy to deal with foot pain (which flared up after a lot of walking in Tokyo, coincidentally). The equipment would not be too onerous to pack--here's a link to their "back" kit. There's a DVD that walks you through the exercises; we wound up ripping that and putting the relevant portion on her phone.
posted by adamrice at 8:18 AM on November 22, 2010

a simple back brace has incredible benefits for me. I use this one, which you can get at drugstores etc: Mueller brace. I wore it on the whole colorado trail this summer, so I can attest to it being great for walking. I wear it under my shirt here in public.
posted by H. Roark at 11:05 AM on November 22, 2010

Stretch your IT bands.
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 11:50 PM on November 22, 2010

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