You have decided to give your family a treat of the year and plan to go to a distant place. Whether you will be traveling by road, rail, or air, having to be seated for long hours can prove uncomfortable if you have back pain problems. If you are suffering from back pain, Dr. Kristopher Downing in La Jolla and the team at Upper Extremity Specialists recommend the following tips to help you travel in comfort.
Be the lone roamer
Being on the road early in the morning or late at night when traffic is less heavy can help reduce travel time, to give your back enough time to rest after you arrive at your destination. Go against the traffic, for instance, if everyone is heading to the mountains, head to the beach instead. Avoid traveling on national holidays since most people will probably be heading out of their homes at the same time.
Choose the aisle
Did you know that the aisle seat is roomier than the seats near the window? Sitting on this seat allows you enough room to stretch your legs. You also have easy access to restrooms, since you do not have to climb over other people when attending to the call of nature.
Keep your meds handy
If you have chronic back pain, you may have to use pain relief medication from time to time. Ensure to have enough supply to last you for the whole trip. Keep the medication in their original package if you have to go through screening at the border or airports.
Be a self-spa
Ensure to carry all the gear to make you comfortable during your journey. An inflatable lumbar, neck pillows, and foam rollers are must-have items to help support your body and roll away discomfort and pain when it strikes. If you are going to a place with a connection to the power grid, bringing a heating pad can be a good idea. Keep your muscles warm and relaxed by wearing heat patches.
Break it up
If you are driving to your travel destination, take a 5-minute break from the steering wheel every few hours. While this may increase your travel time, it significantly helps improve your lower back and overall health. You can also have a member of your family exchange turns behind the wheel to help relax and avoid getting sleepy.
Exercise a bit
Strengthen your pelvic floor and lower back muscles by stretching and Kegel exercises for bladder control. Improve blood circulation in the lower back and pelvis region by tilting your pelvis and taking short breaks. Light exercises can go a long way in making your back allow you to enjoy your travel.
After you have reached your destination, find time to relax. Have a schedule to help you balance between rest and stretching. Planning helps you avoid being fatigued by trying to do too much. Minimize stress by engaging in yoga and deep-breathing exercises to help make your stay away from home worthwhile.
Enhance your chances of traveling in comfort by visiting your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment for back pain.