Back Pain

"We all know being stuck in a car for an extended amount of time can be brutal- especially for the driver."

We encounter many people who have traveled to another state, whether it may be by car or by plane, and return home with major back issues. Patients often ask, “I want to see my family. What can I do to make traveling less painful for me so that I can go see them?”

This week, we have put together some tips to make traveling during the holidays a little less painful.

We all know being stuck in a car for an extended amount of time can be brutal- especially for the driver. Having bad posture while sitting down for hours at a time can lead to severe back problems. Here are some tips to avoid common mistakes while on a holiday road trip:

Driving Tip No. 1:

Stop the pain before it starts by adjusting the car seat before you begin your journey can help immensely. Putting your seat in a position that is tilted slightly backward will allow your elbows to relax and your body to sit naturally. This, in turn, will reduce the stress placed on the spine because the seat will carry some of your weight.

Driving Tip No. 2:

Tight clothing or belts can restrict your movement and cause the body to gradually become stiffer over the duration of the trip. Wearing loose, comfortable clothes will allow more movement within whatever tiny space you might find yourself.

Driving Tip No. 3:

People often don’t realize that giving the body a break after a certain amount of time in the car is essential. Pulling over to a rest stop or gas station will allow you to get out, walk around and give your legs a much-needed stretch. (To help encourage these breaks, drink lots of water!)

Are you leaving on a jet-plane this holiday season? Flying instead of driving does have its perks.

Air Travel Tip No. 1:

While on the plane, it can understandably be difficult to get up and move around. Unless you’re walking to the back to use the restroom, you probably aren’t getting much movement. A solution to this would be to do tiny in-flight exercises such as shoulder shrugs and foot circles. This will assist blood circulation throughout the body and help to avoid blood clot formation in your legs and have a huge impact on the way you feel after landing.

Air Travel Tip No. 2:

The final piece of advice is to push your suitcase, rather than to pull it. Pulling your suitcase from behind as you cross the airport causes the body to twist in a motion that can be harmful to your back. Pushing the suitcase in a forward direction alleviates strain on the back and upper body.

This season, venture out into the world and make some memories! Jump in the car! Hop on a plane! Hopefully, these tips will keep you active and healthy so you can take advantage of the most wonderful time of the year with your loved ones!