It’s about that time of year when more and more people are beginning to travel again, which means longer lines and crowded airports. In the midst of all travel stress, are you making sure you’re taking care of yourself and staying away from old back pain flare ups? Traveling wears down on your mind and body and we’re here to give you some easy tips you can follow to avoid added-on stress and pain during your travels. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, here are some tips you can follow:
Plan Your Trip
You should aim to travel with either a foam roller, lumbar support, or kinesiology tape. Any of these items will aid in helping your back pain during a flight. Also, when it comes to planning ahead you should look at avoiding inflammatory foods such as: fried foods, sweetened beverages, processed carbohydrates, etc.
Take Breaks – Walk Or Stretch
Sitting for long periods of time can cause fatigue and stiffness. If you’re on the plane, try getting up every 20 minutes if possible. If you’re not able to walk in the cabin, you can stand up and stretch in your seat (we will cover stretches you can do in the next section). If you’re in the airport, try standing up and moving around before your flight boards.
Stretches You Can Do On A Plane
Rolling Joints: You can do this while sitting and its effectiveness may surprise you! Spend a few minutes taking turns rotating or rolling your ankles, wrists, shoulders, and neck.
Knee Pull Ups: This is another one you can do in your seat; sit straight and bring your left knee up towards your left shoulder, hold for 20 seconds and repeat with the other side. This helps take pressure off your lower back. If you have osteoporosis/osteopenia do not do this exercise.
Lumbar Extension: While sitting or standing, place your hands in the small of your back and bend backwards. This stretch is great for your lower back.
Sciatica Nerve Gliding: You’ll need to stand for this one (take a few seconds and head for the aisle if possible) and slowly swing your leg back and forth at a 30 degree angle. Switch legs and repeat.
Smaller Bags Are Better Than One Giant Bag
Consider traveling with smaller bags instead of one big bag. This may sound like a hassle to you, but in the long run it’s worth it! Even if you have to spend a bit more on baggage fees, your back will thank you!
See Your PT Before You Go
Make sure you schedule an appointment with us before you go on your trip. We’ll make sure you’re all tuned up and ready to go. Give us a call at 301-493-9257 to schedule today!
To Your Health,