Summer may be winding down, but this doesn’t mean that airports, planes, and traveling are out of the picture. Whether it be for work or play, make sure you are taking care of your lower back.
If you are travelling with heavy luggage make sure to give yourself plenty of time at the airport, especially if you’re flying solo. You don’t want to be rushing and running carrying heavy suitcases that can throw out your back even more. You can always book someone to help you with your bags in advanced.
If you do end up having to lift your luggage, make sure to keep your back straight and bend from the knees, using your legs for the strength of lifting instead of all in your upper body.
If you can, reserve an aisle seat. All plane seats are uncomfortable, but at least in an aisle seat you can get up every once and a while to stretch your legs and move – the simple act of walking helps to keep joints and discs mobile, maintaining healthy circulation to the muscles.
When you arrive, hopefully you will have a chance to rest and recuperate from traveling, which is often stressful and can manifest itself in particular areas of tension, such as your back. It’s important to stay as mobile as possible throughout your trip – walking for a few minutes every hour helps! Swimming is also a great activity to alleviate stiffness.
These are an osteopath's 15 Top Tips to backpain free traveling:
• Use smaller suitcases and handle them one at a time
• Get help with your luggage
• If lifting luggage make sure you keep your back straight and bend from your knees
• Use trolleys as much as possible
• Wear a lumbar support belt for the journey if in a lot of pain
On the plane:
• Reserve an aisle seat on the plane so you can get up easily
• Get up and move when on the flight.
• Adjust the backrest of your seat to a comfortable angle as soon as you can after takeoff.
• A small travel cushion can be placed behind your lower back to provide support
• Avoid alcohol on the plane and try to keep as hydrated as possible by drinking plenty of water
• Depending on the length of your flight it is advisable to try to stay awake, falling asleep means you are less likely to get up and walk around and increases the chance of waking up stiff or in an awkward position
• Use an inflatable neck support cushion – especially if you intend to sleep
At the Hotel:
• Relax but remember to keep mobile
• Gentle swimming will help
• Lie in a foetal position in bed with a pillow between your knees to make sleeping more comfortable
Make Your Whole Body Happy and enjoy your travels!