Long Flight? Talk to Your Chiropractor First!
Chiropractors down under (or in New Zealand to be specific) are advising folks about to travel to keep their back health in mind.
Now you may not be living in a country that is so incredibly far away from everyone else, but summer travel often takes us on vacations that are far away. Sometimes work keeps us on planes back and forth, and forth and back too often. And maybe you have family on the other side of the globe that you try to see at least once a year. No matter what your location, career, family life, or vacation plans you are probably going to be on a plane for longer then your poor spine would like.
"Long periods sitting in cramped positions on planes and in transit lounges, sleeping in different beds and without familiar supportive pillows, reduced hydration and the stress of travel and time zones on the nervous system can all take their toll." - Dr. Hayden Thomas
Looks like these chiropractors with their fantastic accents are making their point! All the above can contribute to back pain, and unfortunately all the above cannot be avoided when traveling. To make this situation even more complicated turbulence, excessive vibrations, and other travel variables also wreck havoc on your back. "Long journeys in planes may also cause a change to the structure of the discs between the spinal bones and lead to stiffness and discomfort with increased likelihood of a disc bulge and nerve compression," Dr. Thomas advises.
What can we do as travelers to prevent excessive back pain?
There aren't very many options available to travelers out there to keep your spine in proper alignment when traveling unfortunately. However, if you are planning a trip you can work on keeping your spine health up with maintenance. Sometimes a simple adjustment to your spine before and after a long plane ride can save you from dealing with unnecessary back pain. Talk to your chiropractor about good posture techniques, and exercises for your travels. Stay on top of your health, and look into referrals for chiropractors in the city you are going to be visiting. And please remember to keep your carry-on luggage to a minimum! The heavier the load you are carrying on your back and/or shoulder the more strain you are causing. Aim to keep bags that you have to carry to a reasonable weight and always bend from the knees! Happy, safe, and healthy travels to you!
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.