Low Back Tips To Make Your Vacation More Enjoyable

Summer is just around the corner!  For those with chronic back issues, there is no reason you cannot enjoy traveling to some exotic destination.  Here are some tips to ensure your back stays strong and pain-free during the flights to and from!

plane

Stay on top of your workout routine: This applies to before, during, and after your trip.   If you’ve been inactive for a period of time, your back muscles will be more likely to spasm when you’re forced to sit scrunched in a tight airplane seat.

Pack lightly: Lugging, and lifting, heavy carry-ons (or those free checked bags) puts you at a higher risk for straining your back.  Having to lift and twist your bag into an overhead bin is one of the worst things you can do.  If need be, ask a strong travel companion to help lift your bags into the overhead compartment.

Keep medications handy: If you tend to get sore when sitting for long periods, take your anti-inflammatory medications ahead of the flight to help prevent pain and stiffness.

Sit right: Sitting is one position that places an extra stress on your back.  To lessen the amount of stress and strain while in your seat, place a pillow between your lower back and the back of the seat. This support will keep you from slouching and help your back maintain a natural curve, which will back spasms.  Keeping your knees bent up to a 90-degree angle will also offset stress on the lower back.

Move around: If able, stand up and walk around for five minutes every hour to keep your muscles working. While you’re standing, bend back and side to side.  Also bring your arms overhead to stretch out your shoulder muscles and upper back. While seated pump your ankles by pulling your toes up and pushing them down.  This helps keep prevent muscle stiffness and can prevent blood clots.

Stay hydrated: This is crucial to maintaining your health and should start the week prior to your trip.  An airplane cabin is dry and dehydration can worsen joint stiffness and back issues.  By drinking water throughout the flight, this will also force you to get up out of your seat to use the bathroom…making you move even more!

Having back problems and looking for more tips?  Request a copy of our FREE back pain report by clicking here!

Andrew Vertson

Andrew Vertson

Andrew received his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from California State University, Fresno in 1991. He then earned his Master’s degree of Physical Therapy in 1996 and his Doctorate degree of Physical Therapy in 2002 from Loma Linda University. In 1996 he also earned his Certification as an Athletic Trainer. He has also completed extensive post-graduate course work in orthopedic manual therapy through Kaiser-West Los Angeles and the Ola Grimsby Institute.
Andrew Vertson

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