How to Keep your Spine Healthy when Travelling
Traveling can be an enriching experience, but for those with back pain concerns, it can also be a source of discomfort and worry. Whether you’re planning a long car ride or embarking on a flight, it’s essential to prioritise your spinal health throughout the journey. In this newsletter, we’ll share some valuable strategies for preventing back pain while traveling, including proper lifting techniques, stretching exercises, and ergonomic tips. Let’s embark on a pain-free journey together!
- Lift Smart, Protect Your Back:
When preparing for your trip, remember to use proper lifting techniques while packing your bags. Bend your knees and keep your back straight while lifting heavy suitcases. Distribute the weight evenly between both sides of your body, avoid twisting or overloading your back. Utilising luggage with wheels can also reduce strain on your spine, especially during airport transfers.
- Stretch it Out:
Sitting for extended periods during travel can lead to muscle stiffness and discomfort. To counteract this, incorporate simple stretching exercises into your journey:
- Neck Rolls: Gently roll your neck in a circular motion, first clockwise and then counterclockwise. Repeat this exercise several times to release tension in your neck and upper back.
- Shoulder Blade Squeeze: While seated, squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold for 5-10 seconds, and then release. This exercise helps improve posture and reduce tension in the upper back.
- Knee-to-Chest Stretch: While seated or lying down, bring one knee toward your chest and hold it with your hands. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then switch legs. This stretch helps relieve lower back tension.
- Ergonomics on the Road:
Whether you’re driving or flying, consider these ergonomic tips to support your back health:
- Car Seat Adjustment: While driving, ensure your car seat is properly adjusted. Sit with your knees at the same level or slightly higher than your hips, and use a lumbar support cushion if needed.
- Flight Posture: During flights, use an inflatable or neck pillow to support your neck and maintain a comfortable head position. Consider using a cushion or rolled-up blanket to support your lower back.
- Regular Breaks: If you’re on a long journey, take regular breaks to stand up, walk around, and perform simple stretches to keep your muscles engaged.
- Choose Supportive Accommodations:
When booking your accommodation, opt for a mattress that provides adequate support for your spine. A medium-firm mattress is generally considered best for most people. Additionally, if your room has a desk, ensure it’s at a comfortable height to avoid hunching over while using your laptop.
- Pack Light, Travel Smart:
Traveling with lighter luggage not only makes your journey more manageable but also reduces the strain on your back. Carry only the essentials and use travel-sized toiletries to minimize the load.
- Consult with a Chiropractor:
Before embarking on your trip, consider scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced chiropractors. They can assess your spinal health and provide personalized advice to ensure your trip is as pain-free as possible.
At Guildford Spine Centre, we’re dedicated to your spinal health and overall well-being. If you experience any discomfort during or after your travels, don’t hesitate to reach out to our chiropractic team for support and guidance.
Wishing you safe travels!
Guildford Spine Centre Chiropractic Clinic