Are you planning to travel this year? If so, you may be wondering how to manage a long flight or car ride if you suffer from neck and/or back pain. Here are a few travel tips for neck and back pain to help you get to your destination more comfortably, so you can enjoy your time away.
Travel Tips for Managing Back and Neck Pain
Take breaks: Whether you simply walk up and down the aisle of the airplane, or stop at a gas station for a bathroom break and/or a short walk, your body likes movement. Try drinking more water as well. Not only is hydration important to your overall health, but the more water you drink, the more stops you’ll need for bathroom breaks. Motion is lotion!
Use postural supports: Neck rolls, lumbar supports and stress wedge cushions are a few positioning supports that can significantly increase your comfort during a long car or plane ride. In addition, your car may have a few adjustments that you may not even know about. Play around with them in the days leading up to your trip to find the most comfortable seat position(s) for you. For a plane trip, bring a lumbar support or use a blanket or sweatshirt to fashion your own support and place it in your lower back region. Keep in mind, your best position is your next position. It is good to change positions throughout your trip as much as possible.
Ice: Frozen ice packs kept in a cooler are another great tool for increased comfort. Another option is single use ice packs found in the first-aid section of a pharmacy which are activated by squeezing. They stay cold for about 20 minutes, and require no refrigeration. Perfect for traveling.
Self-release: Theracanes, tennis balls, lacrosse balls, etc. are amazing self-massage tools that can really increase your comfort while traveling, and they pack easily. Use them while stopped at a gas station, while in the car as able, and/or in the airport to decrease some of the resting tension in your muscles and improve your comfort.