FEELING GREAT: Planning a camping trip? Be prepared so you sleep well

Last week, I told you all about my thoughts of getting away and travelling.

By Paul Gough
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 6:00 pm
If you’re planning to spend time in the great outdoors any time soon, be sure to consider the effect that a night or two sleeping on the ground is likely to have upon your back and neck, particularly if you already have a history of problems in either of those areas.
If you’re planning to spend time in the great outdoors any time soon, be sure to consider the effect that a night or two sleeping on the ground is likely to have upon your back and neck, particularly if you already have a history of problems in either of those areas.

Last week, I told you all about my thoughts of getting away and travelling, now we can head abroad on those special summer holidays again.

Europe and the USA are back on our agendas for the summer and I bet you can’t wait!

But, for me, whenever I hear stories from other people of their childhoods spent on caravan sites or tenting with parents, we didn’t do much of the camping thing when I was a child.

Aside from pitching a one-man tent in my garden a few times, and a one-off trip to a caravan at Haggerston Castle in Northumberland, I can’t remember ever doing much of it.

I think that was because the only trip we did take to Haggerston was marred by one of the few downsides I’ve ever come across with travel; having to put up with a lumpy bed or a rock-hard pillow that someone else has provided for you, night after night.

I’ve never met anyone who can enjoy their days knowing they face a horrid night in an uncomfortable bed.

How many people did you know who are in that last bracket? Someone who would complain about the pillows and mattresses causing back and neckache? Spending 7-8 hours sleeping on a pillow that’s not as nice as your own is a common cause of neck stiffness, backaches and shoulder muscle tightness.

Is there a solution? Of course! I’ve recommended to many of my clients that they take their own pillows with them on holiday and I’ve often done it myself. It’s a smart move if you suffer constantly from neck and shoulder problems but still want to get out and pitch a tent or rent a caravan for the weekend.

Now, if you’re thinking of spending some time in the great outdoors for the first time any time soon, be sure to consider the effect that a night or two sleeping on the grass is likely to have upon your back and neck, particularly if you already have a history of problems in either of those areas.

If your neck or back is regularly stiff, we are always telling patients in the clinic that it’s important to start the day with some stretches or a brisk walk to loosen the joints to prevent a long-term problem (a good habit to get into regardless of where you sleep).

Besides, it should be an easy thing to do if you’re already in the beautiful countryside, as you won’t need much motivation to get up and go for a nice walk when you’re there.