26 Aug, 2015 | Megan Sunderland

Going Out and Health & Science

And What to Do About It

Space is of key value when traveling. Given the lack of room in many modes of transportation, often one’s body remains immobile for long periods of time, which can cause discomfort, tension, and sometimes aches and pains.

Paola Mollinedo, a physiotherapist from La Paz, says that the most common problems among people traveling in Bolivia often involve the neck, shoulders and lower back.

Neck problems: Common amongst drivers across La Paz who often twist their neck and hold it in a fixed position for long periods of time.


1. Tilt the neck back and forth as far as possible.

2. Turn the neck slowly to the left and then to the right.

3. Stretch the neck to the left towards your shoulder as far as possible, then repeat for the right side.

Shoulder problems: Often developed by the backpacker, especially the taller ones, as bus seats incline forward and do not support the back.


1. With hands by your side facing down, raise your arms forward and away from your body until they are parallel to each other and then slowly lower them.

2. In the same position, raise your arms forward and away from your body until they are parallel to each other, and then slowly lower them.

3. With hands relaxed by your side, twist your wrists so that your palm and the back of your hands are alternatively facing forwards.

Lower back problems: speaking to taxi drivers in La Paz, the most common problem is with the lower back.


1. Starting the movement from the hip, move the upper body alternatively to the right and left.

2. With arms extended straight in front, starting the movement from the hips, try to touch your toes.

3. With feet firmly on the ground, twist your upper body alternatively to the right and left.

Photo: Celia Tyson


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