Have you recently travelled, or are you perhaps planning your next trip or vacation? After a recent trip to London, UK and Croatia, I learned a lot about how I could have prevented the back pain I experienced and want to share some tips to help you avoid experiencing the same pain!
First, you will want to pack light, and if you can, try to find luggage and bags that are ergonomically designed to not strain your spine. I really didn’t consider that I might regret packing too many outfits until I had to carry my suitcase up seven flights of stairs, and then back down again! (To all the practitioners at WVCWG, if you are reading this; YES, I did lift with my legs!!) Just having one heavy bag will also throw your body off balance, so if it is an option for you, consider dividing up your items into multiple smaller bags. If your type of vacation includes lots of adventure and exploring, you will also want to make sure to pack excellent and comfortable walking shoes. Having custom orthotics in your shoes will help alleviate some of the foot, knee, hip, and lower back pain from all the steps you may take!
Second, avoid muscle cramps and aches on long flights and car rides with some in-seat exercises and stretches. To maintain good blood flow in your lower extremities, you can trace the letters of the alphabet with each foot. It’s also wise to stretch your legs every chance you get, whether that means pacing back and forth on a plane (when the seatbelt light is off, of course) or pulling off at more rest stops to escape your crammed position. Thankfully, because of the advice from my chiropractors and massage therapists, I knew about good neck and shoulder posture for my long journeys. I avoided looking down at my phone which would strain my neck, and I used a postural neck pillow for comfort. Breathing techniques can be helpful if your shoulders tense up when you start to panic that maybe you forgot to pack something or you hit a bit of turbulence.
Finally, listen to what your body needs to recover when you return from your trip and make use of all the services offered at WVCWG! Our providers will work with you to resolve any pain and provide strategies to avoid injury down the road!
Be sure to tell us all about your travels, we love to hear your stories about your adventures!
By: Sara VanDyk, Communications Coordinator