Holiday travel - tips for traveling with back pain
Holiday Travel Ahead? Tips for Traveling With Back Pain
Returning home for the Holidays? Or traveling to see friends and loved ones out of town? Holiday travel comes with a lot of stress. And, if you suffer from back pain, the thought of hours stuck in an airplane or car can add even more stress to this busy season. Don't resign yourself to being miserable or stuck at home! Fort Wayne Chiropractor, Dr. Busch, shares some things you can do as you travel to avoid additional back pain.
Holiday Airline Travel
- Get a seat assignment when you make your reservation -- if possible, an aisle seat (so you can easily get out and move around) in a row that allows you to recline (so you can adjust the seat back as needed)
- Stretch your upper and lower body frequently to improve circulation
- Slip your shoes off and rotate your ankles and flex your toes
- Use back support from a pillow or rolled up blanket to decrease lower back pain pressure
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- If your back pain is debilitating, contact the airline in advance and ask for assistance with lifting and transporting your luggage and request a wheelchair or shuttle service through the airport
Holiday Car Travel Tips
- Get comfortable from the start. Adjust your seat's lumbar support or place a small pillow or rolled up towel to support your lower back
- Don't sit on your wallet, cell phone or anything else that may twist your back
- Sit close to the steering wheel - reaching for it places stress on the spine, neck and shoulders
- Adjust your hands on the steering wheel. Research says that your hands should be at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock on the wheel to allow your elbows to rest on the armrests and ease back pain.
- Sit with your knees slightly higher than your hips, and keep your chin pulled in
- Angle your seat back to about 100 to 110 degrees to allow you to sit properly
- Use the cruise control, when safe to do so - this allows you to put both feet on the floor and evenly distribute your weight
- Don't sit still for too long. Adjust your seat or change your position slightly every 15-20 minutes
- Exercise at rest stops. Get out of your car and walk around and do some stretching exercises
Pain Relief Suggestions
- Ice. Bring ziploc bags if you are traveling by plane and ask the flight attendant to fill one with ice; pack ice packs in a cooler for your car trip
- Heat. Use your seat warmers in the car; bring warm gel packs or heat wraps (check security clearance on these before traveling by plane)
- Apply pain patches, rubs or gels before you travel
- Get adjusted before traveling.
Don't let back pain ruin your enjoyment of the Season. Talk Busch Chiropractic about your chronic back pain condition. We will help recommend the best solutions for relief from pain so you can start to enjoy the Holiday Season pain free!
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