Traveling can be a wonderful experience, but for those suffering from back pain it often comes with added difficulties and stress. Just the thought of having to manage back pain while on a long trip can be exhausting, but there are ways to ease the discomfort and enjoy your trip to the fullest. This article goes over the top five things you can do to make it through your travels while keeping your back pain under control.

1.Plan for Comfort

If you’re taking a plane, plan to give yourself as much room as possible. If you can book a first class seat, it may be worth it. If that’s not an option for you, there is still plenty you can do in order to maximize your seat space. Try getting an aisle seat where you will have a little more room to stretch out or book a flight during off hours when it won’t be as crowded and you’ll have more space around you. Lumbar support is important, so either plan to bring a pillow with you or make sure you ask your flight attendant for an extra. If you are driving, your seating options will be limited, but there are still steps you can take. Remember to bring a pillow for lumbar support and if possible ride as a passenger where you will be able to stretch
your legs out a little more than in the driver’s seat.

2.Heat and Ice

Alternating between hot and cold is a great way to relieve sore muscles and soothe back pain. Bring a heating pad with you to use at your hotel and ziploc bags to fill with ice. Always remember to protect your skin from direct exposure to the ice packs. These will be extremely helpful to you when you arrive at your destination, but if you have a lengthy travel time you may want to look into instant heat and ice packs. These products can be stored in your regular bag and don’t require access to electrical outlets, providing a perfect option for travel.

3.Move Around

Getting up and moving around on long trips is one of the best things you can do to avoid back pain. Even a person with a healthy back will start to feel sore after too long sitting in the same position, but for someone who already suffers from back pain this becomes even more important. If you’re traveling by car, plan stops along your route to get out and stretch your legs. If you are traveling by plane, it is important to get up and move around, even if it’s just walking up and down the aisle for a few minutes. If you are not able to get out of your seat, try stretching as much as you can while seated. You may also want to get a note from your doctor explaining to the flight crew that you have medical needs requiring you to get up and
move around every 30 minutes or so.

4.Lift Luggage Carefully (or not at all)

Moving and lifting heavy luggage can wreak havoc on a sore back. Try to pack as lightly as possible, or arrange for flight crew or hotel staff to help you with your bags. When you do lift any luggage, move slowly and be careful not to twist your body while lifting. Do not lift by bending forward at the waist. Instead, bend at the hips and knees, straightening your legs as you come up to avoid injury.

5.Relax!

Stress can aggravate back pain, so make sure you remember to take it easy! Get comfortable, listen to some soothing music, or read your favorite book. If you need to, try some deep breathing exercises or meditation techniques. The more relaxed you are, the better you’ll feel – this is your vacation so take the time to really enjoy it!

Follow these tips and spend your time thinking less about your back pain and more about having a wonderful experience. Back pain doesn’t have to stop you from living the life you want – happy trails!

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