As we get closer to spring break and the summer holiday, more and more families are going on trips. While vacations can be fun, they can also be the source of aches and pains for some people. Unfortunately, airplanes are not the most comfortable to sit in for long durations of time. At Straight Up Chiropractic, we know how important a relaxing vacation can be for our patients. This is why we also believe it’s our job to give them tips to avoid these travel discomforts and pains.
Long Durations Of Travel Can Ache
Even first class seats can cause patient to become stiff and sore during extended periods of travel. In fact, prolonged sitting is one of the major factors responsible for these travel side effects. Prolonged sitting is known to cause a build up of pressure within an individual’s blood vessels, especially in their lower legs. This is one of the reasons we recommend getting up and moving around during travel. These breaks from sitting will cause your muscles to contract and relax which helps to increase your blood flow again.
The truth is, preventing this discomfort is quite easy. In fact, with the very minimal effort, you can ensure that you avoid these annoying travel pains. Here are some of the ways that you can prevent soreness and aches while traveling….
Before You Travel
This may sound a little strange. However, one of the best things you can do for your body before you going on a trip is to warm up. Just as you would not want to start an athletic event with tight muscles, nor do you want to get on a plane without stretching a bit. We’re not saying you need to do a 30-minute warm-up, just enough to get your muscles moving and stretched. For most of our patients, this could be a simple brisk walk to stretch your hamstrings and your calf muscles. The point is just to get your muscle loose and moving. Starting your trip with stiff muscles will only cause them to become more rigid and more painful.
In The Air
Airplane seats aren’t always the most comfortable, even if you’re flying first class. The truth is they’re not designed to maintain an optimal spine position, especially economy seats that give guests limited room for movement or posture adjustments. With a few travel tips, you can avoid back discomfort and ensure that you enjoy the rest of your trip.
- Use pillows or blankets to support your spine. The poor posture caused by airline seats is one of the most common reasons that people who travel by plane experience lower back pain. The best way to prevent this would be to create a little-added support for your spine by tucking a pillow or blanket behind your lower back. This helps to maintain the natural “S” shape of your spine.
- Don’t carry on bags that are too heavy. A simple rule of thumb to decide if your carry-on bag is too heavy is to calculate whether or not it weighs 5-10% of your body weight. Any bags heavier than this you should check. Most travelers don’t realize the distance and time for which they must carry their luggage. Not to mention, the risk of injuring your back while lifting a heavy carry-on to place in the overhead compartment.
- While seated in the airplane it is vital to move around. Prolonged sitting is the primary source pain and discomfort for travelers, this is why we suggest adjusting your posture regularly. If you were able to, we also recommend taking a brisk walk down the aisle on your way to the bathroom during the flight. Honestly, even minimal movement will make a huge difference and your body’s travel experience.
At Straight Up Chiropractic, like many of our patients, we thoroughly enjoy traveling. However, we understand how much discomfort it can cause some people. As your family’s chiropractic care provider, we feel it is our responsibility to inform our patients of ways they can improve their spine health and travel experience. For more chiropractic travel tips or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Halsy, please feel free to contact us today.