Easter is a wonderful time of year as it provides us with an opportunity to catch up with friends and family. Enjoying some Easter eggs, hot cross buns, and delicious home cooked meals is an added bonus!
Unfortunately, many people have to travel long distances over Easter to reach their loved ones. Travelling can be very difficult if you are suffering from back pain as sitting down for long periods can often cause it to flare up.
In this post, I will share some simple tips that will help you avoid travel-related back pain over the Easter break. These tips will help you enjoy the holiday break without unnecessary back pain. If you are still suffering from travel-related pain after using these tips, feel free to pop into my London Chiropractor Clinic – MotionBack for an examination.
Travel tips for avoiding back pain
Bring your own back support on the journey
The seating that is provided in trains, rental cars, ships, and planes is often uncomfortable and doesn’t provide enough support for the lower back. This is one of the main reasons why travelling can result in back pain.
Improve the quality of your seat by purchasing a lumbar support pillow designed for travelling. If you forget to buy a lumbar support pillow for your trip, use a rolled up blanket or sweater. Many of the patients visiting my London chiropractor clinic find that this simple tip helps them avoid back pain. Additionally, if you suffer from a sore neck while travelling, consider using an inflatable travel pillow.
Move around whenever you can
The main reason why travelling triggers back pain is that you will often be sitting for many hours, which compresses the spine. Alleviate this issue by moving around at every opportunity. If you are on a plane or train, walk around every 30 minutes to stretch your legs and decompress your back. If you are driving a car, pull over on the side of the road every now and then to walk around. Avoid escalator and elevators — walk instead.
Don’t take too much luggage with you
It’s easy to antagonise a back injury if you are forced to pick up heavy bags while travelling. Avoid this problem by only packing the items you will actually need over the Easter break. If one bag is getting too heavy to life easily, take two bags instead.
Some people may it easier to use a high quality back pack with lumbar support as it spreads the weight of your luggage evenly across your back. Alternately, get a suitcase with wheels so you can pull it around instead of lifting it. When you do have to lift the suitcase, be mindful of your technique — bend with your legs, keep your back straight, and avoid twisting. If help is available, ask them if they can lift your luggage for you.
Be mindful of your posture
Poor posture can place additional stress on the lower back, resulting in even more back pain. Be mindful of how you are sitting or standing. Do your best to avoid hunching over and use a headrest to support your head if possible. Keep your back straight, with shoulders pulled back and feet firmly on the floor.
Receive a chiropractic adjustment before your trip
If you come into our London chiropractic clinic, one of our team can assess the health of your musculoskeletal system and make an adjustment if necessary. This will ensure your joints are correctly aligned – reducing the likelihood of back pain while travelling.
After spending a lot of time in a seated position, you may experience stiffness and tension in your muscles. Stretching these muscles out will help you remain comfortable during the journey. This article features several useful stretches that can be performed in confined spaces.
Ask for help from the airline
Most airlines are very accommodating of people who have a medical problem. Tell them that you experience back pain and ask for an aisle seat so you can get up and move about frequently during the flight.
Have treatments on hand
Be ready to treat any back pain that you encounter by taking over-the-counter pain relief, muscle relaxants, and hot/cold packs. You can use these items when you arrive at your destination to help your back recover from the journey.
Most airlines and trains will have ice on hand, so you can fill a small bag with ice to soothe your lower back during the journey. Disposable hot packs are also particularly useful if you are traveling on a plane, train, or ship. If you are still experiencing back pain after returning from your trip, visit us at MotionBack Chiropractic Clinic for an assessment with one of our experienced team of London chiropractors.