The holidays are an exciting time – you get time off of work, you get to see friends and family you haven’t seen in years, and, if you are going out of town, you get the chance to get away from your “normal” life for a while. But all of this fun and excitement can grind to a halt if back pain flares up – and unfortunately, traveling is full of situations that can cause back pain.
Do you always have back problems?
Sitting in a tiny airplane seat or driving in a car for hours, carrying heavy luggage, and then arriving at your destination to a strange, lumpy, uncomfortable bed – back pain when you travel is almost inevitable, even if you don’t have back problems all the time. There are a few things you can try to prevent back pain while you travel:
• Reduce your stress. Even when traveling for fun, it can be quite stressful, and stress can make the muscles tighten up and can cause back pain. Do everything you can to reduce your stress.
• Ask for help. If you have a lot of heavy bags you have to carry through the airport, you don’t have to do it alone – don’t be afraid to ask for help!
• Change your position. Airplane seats are notoriously uncomfortable. Try to change how you are sitting every half an hour or so, and give yourself extra lumbar support by rolling up a sweatshirt and placing it between the small of your back and the seat.
• Make your bed more comfortable. If your back starts to hurt minutes after you get into bed, try propping up your knees with a pillow (if you always sleep on your back) or put a pillow between your knees (if you always sleep on your side).
Don’t let back pain ruin your holidays! Take some steps while you travel to be kind to your back. And if you get home and still find that you are sore, it may be time to do more about your back pain, by calling Cynergy Physical and Occupational Therapy for help. There are five locations in New York – call (212) 974-7252 for an appointment today!