If you’re worried more about your back pain instead of looking forward to your holiday traveling, you can be more apprehensive than appreciative. So whether you are traveling in a car or a plane here are three tips that can help protect your back and minimize pain during this holiday season’s trips.
Lighten the Load
Hauling around suitcases can be hard work, whether you’re lifting them into the trunk of your car or off the carousel at the airport. One of the simplest ways to make it easier is to keep your suitcases light. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it! Pack coordinating colors so you can mix and match your wardrobe and reduce the amount you need to pack. Buy sample- or travel-sized cosmetics to cut down on their weight. When lifting your suitcase, bend at the knees and use your legs to protect your back. Lift in stages if you need to rather than forcing your body to perform a big movement all at once.
Bring Your Own Back Support
Whether you are traveling in your own car, renting a car or sitting in an airplane, the way you sit can affect your posture and your back pain. Bring a lumbar roll to put in the small of your back to help keep its curves aligned. You can buy one online or roll up a bath towel, and fasten it with zip-ties in a roll shape. Even a small pillow can be effective to support your back; it can even double as a headrest. When you slouch, you increase the stress on your neck and disks, and that can increase your back pain. Supporting your spine can help you feel more comfortable when you have to sit for a long period.
Take Breaks to Move Your Body
When traveling in a car, make a special effort to stop, get out and walk or stretch. Even in an airplane you can take a walk down the aisle to the bathroom or stand up briefly when the seatbelt sign is off. Staying in one position can be fatiguing for your muscles that help with posture. It can put prolonged stress on the joints in your back. Taking a few moments to change position can make a big difference in reducing your back pain.
Taking a few extra moments to support and protect your back can be the difference between pleasant or painful travel. If you back pain persists consider seeing a physical therapist who can examine your back and instruct you more specifically on stretches and exercises to help reduce your back pain and keep it away!