Even if you don’t usually experience back pain, traveling can bring it on. If you have chronic back pain, traveling will exacerbate it. Here are five tips from your Paradise Valley chiropractor to help reduce back pain while you travel:
1 – Lift luggage in stages – Lift luggage to the back of the car, then into the trunk. Or lift your suitcase onto the top of the airplane seat, then into the overhead bin. Also, follow these guidelines when lifting your luggage:
- Bend at the knees and use leg muscles rather than back muscles to lift
- Avoid twisting the low back while lifting; instead, pivot with the feet
- Carry heavy items as close to the body as possible
- Distribute weight evenly on each side of the body
- If carrying one shoulder bag, switch sides often to avoid stressing one side of the back
2 – Use proper support – Most car and airplane seats do not have the proper lower back support, so bring your own. Either a lumbar pillow or a rolled up sweater will work. And don’t forget your feet! Feet placed flat on the floor provide the most relief to your back. If you’re feet don’t reach the floor, prop them up on something. If you are driving a long distance, use cruise control so that both feet can be flat on the floor.
3 – Check posture – As you travel, your body is forced into cramped spaces that are not comfortable and definitely not meant to support your back. Every once in a while, check your posture. Sit up straight, placing your back against the seat and place the headrest in the middle of your head. Put your shoulders back and place your feet flat on the floor. No hunching over!
4 – Move as much as possible – Take a break every 20-30 minutes and stretch your whole body. Stop the car and walk around or get out of your seat on the airplane and walk the aisles. Do some stretches to prevent cramping.
5 – Quick & easy pain relief – Bring an empty plastic bag to fill with ice and be prepared with a heat wrap if you need to alternate between ice and heat. Switching between hot and cold every 10-15 minutes will help relieve swelling and pain.
No one wants to be in pain, so make sure you visit your Paradise Valley chiropractor after your trip to make sure everything is correctly aligned. Give us a call and receive a free consultation.