10 Vital Travel Tips to Keep Your Spine Happy

chiropractor Vancouver WAIf you have ever been on a vacation, you know how hard travel can be on your body. This is especially important if you regularly suffer from back or neck pain.

Those long hours spent in the car or inside a cramped airplane can cause a great deal of discomfort in your spine and can ruin your trip if the pain gets to be too much to handle.

It is true that any time you are sitting for long periods of time in a less than ideal position, pressure is placed on various pressure points within your spine. This can leave you feeling aches and pains throughout your entire vacation, and even continue once you return home.

Below you will find a few pre-travel tips from your chiropractor in Vancouver WA to help you prepare for your next adventure:

  • Take some time to warm up and stretch prior to getting into the car or boarding the plane. You might think it is a silly step, but a few short minutes of stretching can give your muscles a chance to warm up and prevent them from getting tight and cramping later on.
  • Even something as simple as carrying your wallet in your back pocket could cause you issues. It can tilt your pelvis leading to pain, so pack it away somewhere safe.
  • Pack a moist hot pack or ice pack with you. This way you will have something on hand in case pain flares up unexpectedly.
  • Schedule an appointment to see your chiropractor in Vancouver WA before and after your next big vacation. These pre- and post-travel adjustments can make all the difference in being prepared for the trip and ensuring a quick recovery after.

Today we would like to offer you 10 healthy travel tips that when used in combination with post-travel chiropractic adjustments, can help you kick those vacation pains to the curb:

Tips for flying on a plane:

  1. It is important to safely lift your luggage without twisting your spine. To do this, try bending from your knees instead of arching your back. In the case where you are carrying your luggage on the plane, it is important to switch it from side to side as you traverse the terminal so that one side isn’t managing all of the strain. Also, try to check any bags that weigh more than 5-10% of your total body weight.
  2. When permitted by your flight crew, take the opportunity to tilt your seat backward. This will help support your spine. You may also want to bring a small pillow or cushion along with you to help offer you some extra lumbar support. A C-shaped neck pillow will help take some pressure off your spine and encourage proper posture. If you don’t have any of those items with you, you could choose to sit on your jacket or a blanket to reduce any discomfort you may be experiencing while sitting for long periods of time.
  3. Try to pay attention to your posture at all times. Do this by aligning your spine against the back part of the seat and making sure that the headrest is supporting the middle portion of your head. Also, try not to round your shoulders and keep your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  4. Try to keep hydrated during your trip. With the low humidity levels in the pressured cabin of the plane, your body can quickly become dehydrated. It’s also a good idea to choose water instead of drinks like alcohol, coffee, or tea, as they tend to encourage dehydration.

Tips for riding in the car:

  1. To prepare for a long trip, adjust your seat so you are as close to the wheel as necessary, while still keeping your knees just a bit above your pelvis.
  2. If you are driving, alternate your grasp between 2 o’clock and 7 o’clock, and 10 o’clock and 5 o’clock. Also, try not to grip the wheel with too much force. This might increase muscle fatigue in your wrists, hands, and arms.
  3. Bring a pillow along with your for lumbar support.
  4. Take a break every few of hours to get out of the car, walk around a bit, and stretch.
  5. Take a minute to do some active range-of-motion exercises at each stop to loosen up your joints and muscles.
  6. Use cruise control when you can so that you can rest your legs at a right angle while driving.

Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to see your chiropractor in Vancouver WA after your vacation, especially if you notice any pain lingering.

At Family and Sports Chiropractic Clinic, we understand that summer means travel. This is an important part of spending time together with family, which is why we love being here for your healing and comfort before and after you go.

Contact us today for more travel tips or to set up an appointment to keep you travel-ready all summer long.