Summer is a great time for travel, especially for families since kids have time off from school. Unfortunately, that travel usually means long periods of time in a car or on a plane. All of that travel time can turn a fun trip into a pain in the neck or back. Have no fear! We’re about to provide you with 3 tips to help you travel like a pro.
Find a Comfortable Position
This may be tough to do in a cramped car or airplane, but it is important. If you start out uncomfortable, it won’t be long before discomfort becomes pain. A few things to keep in mind:
- Keep your back straight.
- Bring something to help with lumbar support (like a pillow).
- Try to have your knees and hips at the same level.
- Keep both feet flat on the floor (assuming you are not the driver, of course).
The right posture can go a long way toward helping you feeling good when you arrive at your vacation destination as well as your home at the end of the trip.
Take Sufficient Breaks
If you are driving, be sure to schedule plenty of time to stop rather than trying to drive hard to get to your destination faster. You should shift your position every 20 minutes or so to keep muscles from getting stiff. If you can pull over to walk a bit every hour or so, that is a good idea. For long trips you may have to stretch that to two hours, but longer than that will quickly lead to soreness.
On a plane, your options are a little more limited. However, if the flight will last several hours, the seat belt sign should eventually get turned off. If the flight attendant doesn’t want you just standing around, take a walk to the bathroom and back even if you don’t have to go.
Stretch Those Muscles
Before you leave for your drive, every time you stop, and when you first arrive, be sure to stretch your muscles out. Keeping muscles warmed up and loose will prevent pain the following day. You may not be able to stretch much during a flight, but before and after will help, even if you feel a little silly stretching in an airport. It’s better to feel silly than sore on your vacation.
If you do come home from your trip with lower back pain or neck soreness, remember that you can always schedule an emergency visit with Dr. Ward to help you recover faster and be ready to go back to work.