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Smart Traveling | Backache
Dr. Calvin ErhaborJun 1, 2018 2:10:40 PM5 min read

Don’t Let Back Pain Ruin Your Vacation - 6 Tips To Keep You Going

Are you Traveling with Back Pain?

Are you Traveling with Back Pain?

If you have chronic back pain or traveling causes more pain than usual, try these beneficial traveling tips to cut down the stress traveling can put on your back.

In this blog, we outline six ways to package your luggage to avoid back strain properly, additional travel tips, and how to treat any back pain you experience from your travels.

Table of contents:

How to Avoid Back Pain when you Travel

Summer vacation is a fun and exciting part of life, but traveling with back pain isn't.
No matter how you travel, there are preventative measures to ease back pain to make traveling enjoyable.
Something as simple as lifting your luggage wrong can cause neck, back, or lower back pain.
There are preventive measures to take when you travel that will help with lower back pain and even neck pain throughout your vacation.
Each action can help or hurt your body, so take steps to support your back, neck, and overall health.


Six Tips to Try Next Time You Travel


1. Visit a chiropractor before and after your vacation.

Chiropractors can help prevent low back pain while you travel. Chiropractors find areas causing extra pressure or restriction on your back and release these before and after your travels.

This can keep your body aligned and healthy and prevent chronic back pain.

2. Sit Properly

Especially on long car rides or flights, you should use good posture and empty your pockets.

To prevent low back pain, keep your butt to the back of your seat and allow your shoulder blades to rest against the seat, holding your neck upright. Consider using a lumbar pillow, or travel pillow to help alleviate pain in your lower back. 

Empty your back pockets because items in your back pocket cause an imbalance, throwing your body off.

3. Think about your Knees

Make it easier, and be sure your knees are lower than your hips during your travels. Your spine has a natural curve, so support that with a rolled towel or pillow.

Wear shoes that support your feet while walking between flights, and be sure your feet are supported while sitting.

Your feet need to be placed on a firm surface so there isn't added stress to your lower back.

Take advantage of cruise control when possible while driving long distances.

4. Move

If your journey is by car, take advantage of rest stops and leave the vehicle for a few minutes. Plan so you can walk around and stretch and not get stuck in the same position for hours. 20-30 minutes can help greatly. 

If traveling by plane, you can prevent back pain by getting an aisle seat, exit row with extra legroom, or upgrading to roomier seats.

It might help to call the airline ahead of time because some airlines need a doctor's note to take your back issue seriously.

Add in some simple exercises while waiting around the airport for your flight or luggage or when you're at a rest stop during your road trip. Try back, neck, and quad stretches or neck rolls if you feel neck pain. 

This will increase your circulation and blood flow and loosen your muscles, helping prevent back pain.

5. Pack Smart

From luggage to carry-ons, you are at risk for neck or back pain. Packing light is always the best route, but sometimes it is unavoidable.

If your bag is too heavy, don't be afraid to ask for help.

Traveling with a backpack allows the weight of the items you bring to be evenly distributed, whereas a shoulder bag can cause neck and should pain.

Once you lug a shoulder bag across the airport, you could be in jeopardy of neck pain and lower back pain throughout your entire trip.

When it comes to heavier items or light luggage, lifting it carefully is the best way to help prevent back pain.

How to Lift Luggage Properly

Bend your hips and knees to squat down to your luggage and straighten your leg muscles to lift with your legs rather than your back muscles when placing items in overhead compartments. 
Keep the luggage close to your body, especially if it is heavy.
Make sure you do not twist or turn while lifting your luggage.


Lifting Luggage | Pack Smart | Healthy Travel 

How to Pack Smart

Everyone has their preferences when it comes to packing, especially on a long trip, so here are some helpful tips for getting your weight down without giving up items you need.


  • Only pack what you know you will wear. Take the musts, not the maybes.
  • Pick versatile outfits, such as wearing a dress while traveling that can double as your swimsuit cover-up.
  • Layer your clothing. Especially when traveling to different climates, you need to layer to add or remove clothing as needed.
  • Wear bulky stuff while traveling. Don't try to pack your coat or heavy sweater, wear it while traveling.
  • Limit shoes when packing. You only need one pair of flip-flops at the beach. Traveling in tennis shoes not only supports your feet but also take up a lot of luggage space, so eliminating them from your bag is best.
  • Simplifying your color scheme is helpful too. If you base everything off of tans and brown, then you can mix and match clothing and use the same color shoes with multiple outfits and jewelry.
  • Bring basic clothing that can be dressed up or dressed down if you are unsure what event you might be attending. Traveling for work can be tricky if you must dress up for your meeting but don't want to wear your suit to dinner. Find common ground. Pair a dress with a blazer for work, and take the blazer off for dinner.
  • Cut out toiletries. Most hotels include your basic shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion, so give their products a chance. You can always buy items when you get there if you do not like what is provided. If you absolutely must bring your own stuff, use travel-size bottles that will last you the duration of the trip.



Visit The Arrowhead Clinic Before Your Trip

Traveling with back pain isn't fun.

Talk with a local chiropractor before you travel to get the help you need to prevent back pain while you travel.

Click the banner below to schedule a Free Back Pain Consultation and get help from one of our expert Chiropractors at Arrowhead Clinic.

Learn more by reading additional articles below:

Free Chiropractic Consultation | Arrowhead Clinic

Learn more by reading additional articles below:


Dr. Calvin Erhabor

Dr. Calvin Erhabor is Arrowhead Clinic’s Riverdale Chiropractor. He specializes in providing chiropractic spinal adjustments to accident victims as well as to people who suffer from chronic neck and back pain. Dr. Erhabor graduated with a Bachelors in Biological Sciences from Alcon State University in 2007. He also received his Doctorate of Chiropractic degree from the prestigious Life University in 2012. Life University is recognized throughout the world as a top institution and regularly has the highest National Board test scores in the nation. Dr. Erhabor is board certified by the National Board of Chiropractors Association and is a member of the Mississippi Chiropractic Association and the Georgia Chiropractic Association. Dr. Erhabor believes that his primary purpose is to truly understand his patients and the situation they are facing. He believes that every patient should be treated with respect, dignity, and above all else, be seen as a whole person and not as the condition or ailment they suffer from. Dr. Erhabor’s mission is to restore health and help community members reach their potential. One of Dr. Erhabor’s patients said, “The Riverdale facility is very clean. Dr. Calvin is great. He has a special bond with all his patients. I’ve never had a Dr. that actually talks to the patients and really gets to know them. And on top of that I feel so much better.” Dr. Erhabor offers same-day, free consultations. He is available to schedule an appointment Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.