Member Insights: How to Prevent Back Pain While Traveling

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Member Insights by Ability Chiropractic

Nothing can ruin your long-sought-out vacation like suffering from neck and back pain. Whether you’re traveling by bus, car, train, or plane, you’re likely to suffer from the effects of travel on your lower back and neck–especially for those with pre-existing conditions.

Though travel can negatively impact the body, there are ways to prevent and avoid some of the pain. The next time you book your travel reservations, keep these tips in mind to reduce as much pain as possible and keep vacation fun:

Pack Over-the-Counter Painkillers

Medications are allowed as part of your carry-on luggage, so take advantage of this if you typically suffer from neck and back pain. Having medications such as Tylenol, Aleve, or Motrin with you in-flight will be helpful if pain starts to sneak up on you.

Additionally, try taking the medication an hour prior to lift-off so that it has time to work its way into your system. Just one dose of preventative medication might allow you to make it through the whole flight without pain

Stretch and Move Your Body

Motion is essential for your body to stay loose and pain-free. It’s a good idea to get out of your cramped plane seat or stuffy driver’s seat every 60-90 minutes to move around and stretch your limbs–even if you don’t feel you need to yet. You should also avoid remaining in the same seated position for more than 30 minutes. Even if it’s only a brief change, this can do wonders for your back.

If getting up and out of your seat isn’t an option, perform seated back stretches whenever you’re starting to feel stiff. Simple twists and turns from a seated position can help alleviate some of the pain in those moments when walking the aisle isn’t permitted or you can’t pull your car over for some time.

Pack a (Neck) Pillow

While you probably won’t be able to bring your favorite pillow from home on the plane, you are definitely able to bring on a neck pillow. These pillows do more than just give you a little extra cushion while you sleep; they help keep your spine in better alignment so that you are less prone to waking up with pain in your neck or back.

If you don’t have a neck pillow and don’t have time to go get one, don’t worry! You can roll up a t-shirt or towel and wrap it around the back of your neck for the same effect.

Talk To Your Doctor

If you know you have a far drive or long flight ahead of you, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about more preventative measures. Chiropractors like the professionals at Ability Chiropractic can also give you treatments leading up to your trip to ensure that your neck and back are in the best possible shape.

Your doctors know your pain and circumstances better than anyone else, so they’ll likely be able to point you in the direction of tactics and products that will make a difference in your pain management while traveling.

Vacation is supposed to be a leisurely experience full of positive memories and experiences. Don’t like a bad back be the reason that you don’t enjoy your trip. What are your best tips for preventing and managing pain while you travel?