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Tips for Dealing with Back Pain When Traveling

By Sara Butler

It’s the time of year again, time for vacation! For most people this is an exciting time to go out and see new places, but if you suffer from back pain it may be something you are dreading. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, so if you suffer from back pain, here are a few ways to make traveling more tolerable so you don’t have to dread it!

Plan Ahead

If you’re going to fly, you are probably anticipating having to wait in long lines, but you can try to get around this by planning ahead. Can you buy tickets online? At the airport, can you check in online instead of waiting to go to the counter? Check your luggage at the curb instead of hauling it into the airport with you. If you've got a bad back, anything you can do to eliminate standing for long periods will be helpful.

Don’t Overpack

Traveling light is another key to success. If you can pack only the things you need into a small suitcase, you will reduce some of the stress and strain you put on your shoulders as well as your lower back. It’s also a good idea to choose a suitcase that rolls behind you, switching sides frequently. If you need recommendations, talk to your chiropractor before you go.

Posture Check

Sitting for a long time is a great way to cause back pain, but sometimes it cannot be avoided. When you need to sit for long periods during travel make sure you have proper posture so you don’t inadvertently make the pain worse. In order to stay comfortable, keep your spine in line with the back of your seat, making sure the middle of your back is supported. Your shoulders should not be hunched forward and you should keep both your feet on the floor. Also, if you can, get up and walk around every hour, even if it’s to the restroom. That will help you to keep yourself from sitting in one position for too long, which makes it easier to practice poor posture.

Hydrate Properly

This is a tip most people don’t think of, but when your body is properly hydrated it will feel better. The spongy discs between the bones in your back need fluid to be able to work at their best, and keeping yourself properly hydrated may help to reduce pain and discomfort!

If you have any other questions about how to reduce back pain while you travel, remember that your chiropractor is an excellent resource!

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