Summer is almost here and the warmer weather gives many people the desire to travel! For either preparing for a big cross-country trip or simply cruising close to home, there are some simple tips for avoiding the aches & pains which may crop up from the rigors of travel. Whether by plane, train or automobile these tips can help minimize back pain and stay in better shape so you can actually enjoy the destination!
1. Find & maintain a comfortable and well supported position. From the moment you sit down, pay attention to your posture. If you’re in the car, sit up straight and then adjust your mirrors. Knowing where your sight should line up will be a good reminder if you start to slouch. Adjust the seat to allow optimal leg room (if possible). To prevent tiring the muscles that hold your back up straight, place a pillow or a rolled up towel/blanket in your lower back to help support it.
2. Take a break and walk around every 1-2 hours. Sitting for prolonged periods of time is always rough on the body which is designed for movement, so it’s important to move every once in awhile. This is especially critical for people with circulation problems or who are at risk of developing blood clots. The best way to prevent this is to get the blood flowing by walking at least every hour. If it’s impossible to take a break, see tip #3 for ways to increase circulation while sitting.
3. Do seated leg stretches. This is helpful to prevent cramping & keep the circulation moving. Try small stretches like spreading out your toes or clenching/relaxing the muscles of your calves. If you’re not the one driving, marching in place or making circles with your ankles is another way to stay limber & prevent cramping.
4. Stretch your upper back by tucking the chin and rolling the shoulders at least every hour. This will keep the muscles from tightening and becoming fatigued.
5. Stay well hydrated. Wherever you go, plan on taking a water bottle and drink frequently, taking small sips at least every half hour. The muscles need water to prevent becoming tight, which can cause strain on the back. Staying well hydrated should make you feel better in general since many body systems need water!
And of course, if you are prone to back problems, the best way to prevent aggravation is to stay well adjusted by your chiropractor. If you’re going on a particularly long or difficult journey, it’s a good idea to get adjusted soon before you leave and plan on getting a check up once you return. This will prevent problem spots from building up while you’re away and make sure things are back to normal. traveling tips
Wherever you go, have a safe and fun traveling season!