Its summer vacation time and perhaps you’re thinking of going away for awhile. The old saying goes: “Vacations are fun, but traveling is a pain!” Actually, traveling can be an even bigger pain in the back.
There is the mental stress of making plans, packing the essentials, etc. Then there’s the physical stress and strain of lifting bags, dragging them in/out of the car or maybe even through the parking lots and airport, carrying all those over-stuffed carry-ons with gifts and paperbacks.
If you’re a cottager you may throw out your back doing work around the cottage.
But the number one complaint by plain, train and automobile travelers – when describing the onset of their back pain – is sitting for too long.
Luckily, the pain associated with travel can be greatly reduced, and in many cases avoided, with these simple tips:
- Plan your trip well in advance, pack two days before and load suitcases in the car the night before.
- Only pack what is absolutely necessary. You don’t need to bring the whole house with you.
- The poor seating designs of most travel vehicles cause back pain due to incorrect support of the spine, and forward pitching of the shoulders. To avoid this, always bring a small pillow, or use one that is offered and place it behind your low back or neck for support
- If you are taking a long drive, train ride or flight, be sure to get up and move regularly. Make regular pit stops to stretch if you’re driving. Simply standing up for a few minutes and doing some light stretching, twisting or bending will help keep you limber, relaxed and the blood moving in and out of the muscles.
- And lastly, be sure that when lifting bags, that you plant your feet flat for support and bend from the knees. Incorrect lifting or over-reaching for items is one of the most common causes of back pain… and one of the easiest to avoid.
Holiday travel does not have to be as stressful or painful as many of us make it out to be. If we plan well, execute well and take care of our bodies while in transit… the trip will be painless. What a better way to relax on vacation is there to arrive at your destination pain free.