How To Travel With Minimal Back Pain
It's the time of year when everyone departs on a trip to the big city or to visit a tropical paradise; the last thing you need while you enjoy your getaway is to experience back pain.
When planning your next trip, make sure you follow these travel and back pain tips outlined to protect your back from undue stress and pain.
Lift Luggage Properly
Lifting a heavy item like luggage can ruin your trip before it even starts. When moving luggage, it is best to use short movements.
For example, if lifting overhead, don't lift from the floor up to the overhead area in one movement. Try moving it from the floor to the seat, and then from the seat to the overhead unit. Lifting in steps will reduce back strain.
Other tips for lifting include:
- Carry heavy items close to the body
- Try a backpack instead of a shoulder bag to distribute the weight evenly. Otherwise, move the bag from side to side to avoid stressing one side of your back
- Avoid twisting the low back while lifting; instead, pivot with the feet
Bring your Own Back Support
Bring a lumbar pillow with you to help support your lower back. You can also use a rolled up jacket or blanket to provide support to the curve of your lower back.
Sitting for a long time in one spot can strain the lower back. Poor posture can bring additional issues, so be sure to have your back aligned against the back of your seat and the headrest supporting the middle of your head. Also, remember to keep shoulders straight while sitting.
Support Your Feet
You wouldn't think your feet would have much to do with supporting your back but feet should be set on a firm surface while sitting. If your seat is too high, rest your feet on a footrest so that your lower back will not be stressed as much.
Smaller bags are better than one heavy bag. Try getting a light suitcase with wheels and a handle to roll it along; pack light in case you have to go up any stairs.
Get up and Move Around
If you are driving a long distance, pull over safely and get out of the car every hour or so. Sitting in one position for long periods of time can stiffen the back muscles.
Get out and stretch and move around. If you're on a plane or bus, stretch and move around every twenty to thirty minutes if you can. Movement facilitates blood flow to the spine, providing nutrients and oxygen to the area.
If you do experience back pain while traveling, have a cold pack or hot pack handy. You can buy these at Wal-Mart and other retail locations that sell materials that activate when squeezed or pressed.