Supporting your spine health and reducing your pain when you travel can be a challenge. Carrying bending, lifting, and carrying heavy suitcases followed by prolonged sitting can take a toll. However, with just a little advance planning, you should be able to enjoy your trip.

Whether you’ll take a plane, train, bus, or automobile the same advice applies. Getting out of your seat to stretch, change positions, and walk around frequently will make a huge difference in the way you’ll feel, as sitting in the same position for long periods of time can cause pain and stiffness.

If you’re flying, try to choose an aisle seat in order to make this an easier task. Even better, if you can use miles or afford the additional expense, upgrade to a roomier aisle seat. When packing, remember that each item you pack, is one that you’ll need to lift, so try to minimize what you bring and check bags that you can’t easily lift. Use wheeled bags, and if possible utilize a small backpack that will distribute weight evenly rather than a shoulder bag as carryon.

Consider bringing space-saving versions of items that can alleviate your back pain such as an inflatable lumbar pillow, travel size foam roller, or heat wraps. A sweatshirt or jacket can also be rolled and placed behind the neck or back for support. Additionally, remember to bring a few extra days of any medications that help you manage your pain in case your trip is delayed or extended.

Finally, reduce your stress and the tension that can make back pain flare up. Allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination or airport and don’t overschedule your trip. Bring a book or watch a movie to help you pass the time enjoyably. When stressful situations occur, try to practice deep breathing or other relaxation techniques.

When you arrive, you may want to book a massage in order to relax and work out any stiffness or achiness. By following these guidelines, it’s possible to relax and enjoy your summer travel. However, If you are experiencing pain from your travels or would like more information on ways to prevent it, please call or visit Spine & Orthopedic Center today. Our doctors can help you determine the cause of your pain, and ways to prevent and treat it.