Are you Traveling with Back Pain?
If you have chronic back pain or traveling causes your back more pain than usual you may want to try these beneficial traveling tips to cut down the amount of stress traveling can put on your back.
In this blog, we outline 6 ways to properly package your luggage to avoid back strain, additional travel tips, and how to treat any back pain you do experience from your travels.
Table of contents:
- How to avoid back pain when you travel
- Six tips for properly packaging your luggage
- Seek a chiropractor
- Sit proper
- Knees must be lower than your hips
- Footwear matters
- Move around
- Pack smart
- How to lift luggage properly
- How to pack smart
- Additional travel tips
- Treat back pain with a local chiropractor
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 be causing the pain in your neck, back, or low back.
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 you take can help or hurt your body in some way, so try to take steps that 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 that are 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, you need to keep your butt to the back of your seat and allow your shoulder blades to rest against the seat holding your neck upright.
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 yourself 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.
4. Footwear Matters
Wear shoes that support your feet while walking between flights, and be sure your feet are supported while you are 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.
If your journey is by car, take advantage of rest stops and get out of the vehicle for a few minutes. Plan ahead so you can walk around and stretch and not get stuck in the same position for hours.
If you're traveling by plane you can prevent back pain by getting an aisle seat or upgrading to roomier seats.
It might help to call the airline ahead of time because some airlines need a note from the doctor in order to take your back issue seriously.
Add in some traveling exercises while waiting around the airport for your flight or luggage, or when you're at a rest stop during your road trip.
This will increase your circulation and blood flow as well as loosen your muscles, helping to prevent back pain.
6. 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 are bringing to be evenly distributed, where 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 luggage, no matter if it is heavy or light, lifting it carefully is the best way to help prevent pain.
How to Lift Luggage Properly
Bend your hips and knees to squat down to your luggage and straighten your legs to lift.
Keep the luggage close to your body, especially if it is heavy.
Make sure you do not twist or turn while lifting your luggage.
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 so you can add or take off clothing as needed.
- Wear the 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 they 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 as well as jewelry.
- Bring basic clothing that can be dressed up or dressed down if you not sure of what event you might be attending. Traveling for work can be tricky if you need to 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 by 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.
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