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Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

Windsor, Canada
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289 posts
32 reviews
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Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

We are counting down and in the double digits now for our safari, our first. Just a little over two months away and my moms back is killing her. It seems it is the sciatic nerve. She is going for physio, seeing the chiropractor and wants to start acupuncture next week. It is very painful when she stands and walks but sitting is fine. She is 70 and up till now very active. In fact she dances once a week (tap, jazz and hip hop) and has for the last 30 or 40 yrs except for the last 3 weeks, which indicates to us how bad the pain is.

So my question is, does anyone who has had this pain have any experience in how to deal with it, in the vehicle, while on safari? I know it doesn't hurt while she is sitting but from what I read it quite jarring. We are worried about it. I know people say to bring blow up cushions and we will, but any more advice would be welcomed.

I was thinking about those really nice neck pillows for the plane that feel like some kind of jell is inside. It could be dual purpose for the plane and then for sitting on in the vehicle. You know, a little like those donuts we sit on after giving birth. Would that help cushion the bumps? What do you think?

Easy Travel & Tours Ltd
Safaris, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Cultural Tours
Gosheni Safaris Africa
Safaris, Nature & Wildlife Tours
African Scenic Safaris
Hiking & Camping Tours, Safaris, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Climbing Tours
Los Angeles
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1. Re: Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

Kim, cushions would certainly help. Have you thought about a back brace? Not one of those cast-iron torture thingies, but something light for support? You don't say whether this is low-back or mid-back, but there are braces made, I think, for various permutations of back pain.

You can also let your driver know about this, and ask that he avoid fast driving and as many hard bumps as possible.

Lousy time for this to happen.

Windsor, Canada
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289 posts
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2. Re: Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

Thank you for the reply. It is lousy timing. And it is the lower back into her butt that is in pain, while she walks.

New York City, New...
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for Aruba
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3. Re: Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

I have the same issue. Usually Ibroprofen in a relatively high dose of 800 mg 3 times a day for a few days helps tremendously. Obviously speak with your physician. The prescription Celebrex may also be quite helpful.

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

We recently returned from safari. The roads are extremely jarring. My husband (68 and also very active) has low back pain. A couple months ago his doctor advised a different rehab program instead of another cortisone shot. It didn't do anything although he will continue it. A week before we left, he saw his doctor again and told her about our upcoming trip. She gave him cortisone shots, pain pills, and muscle relaxers. He didn't need to use the pills. I had informed our tour operator (Basecamp) about his back issues and he supplied my husband with a large pillow to sit on. We also had a small travel pillow he could put by the small of his back. I ended up using it. He had no pain. My back is very sore.

Los Angeles
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5. Re: Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

nannacallie: LOL. Ain't that the way?

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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6. Re: Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

I have low back pain from time to time (and I currently have this problem right now). I typically use chiropractic treatments to ease the pain, and it works for me. I recall one time when I was leaving for Tz in two weeks and had severe back pain. I went to the chiropractor and told him he had two weeks to get my back in shape for a long plane ride and driving on bad roads in Tz. While I still had some slight pain when I got on the plane, it worked out for me and I had no difficulty driving my vehicle all over the back roads of Tz. I did take a back brace with me (I sometimes use the lifting back braces and they work for me).

Windsor, Canada
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289 posts
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7. Re: Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

To nanacallie. That is good to know about Basecamp. I will contact Achmed if it is still bad before we go. We are all bringing something to sit on.

Edited: 17 November 2013, 20:15
nyc
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8. Re: Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

Suggest mom sit in front seat next to the guide. Least amount of bumps. Have never though used a cushion to sit on, but might at the small of my back.

On the plane, cushions at small of my back and behind my neck.

Always pack a collapsible cane (bright blue neon color), if needed any time while traveling.

Cortisone doesn't do much, nor acpuncture (both a waste of money), even Celebrex (like a sugar tab for me), so travel with drugs... Vicodin, strongest dosage (about 8/tabs daily) and use a stretchy back brace.

Strongly suggest arranging for wheelchairs at all airports as those distances seem to get farther and farther, from year to year. It's complimentary, but for a small tip especially if in the US; elsewhere they wont accept these. Chair (or motored cart) is waiting for you as you deplane and on reboarding usually the first to do so.

9. Re: Advice needed for back issues while in safari vehicle

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