Whether commuting by car or flying by plane, getting from point A to B is no longer as easy or even glamorous as it used to be.
Cramped seats, with little to no legroom and long hours sitting in the same position, can often take a toll on your patience and your back.
So how can you help your patients stay comfortable while traveling? Here are five easy tips you can share with them to help keep their aches and pains in check while traveling to their favorite destinations this holiday season.
1. Pack light
Instead of lugging an oversized 50-pound suitcase through the airport or grimacing as you put it into your car, take a load off. That means, packing light. And when you do, make sure your suitcase is on an elevated surface so you don’t have to bend down.
2. Check your posture
Proper posture can do wonders for your back. That holds especially true when you’re sitting for long periods of time. To alleviate pressure on your back, make sure you sit upright, with your knees bent at no more than at a 90-degree angle. Make your journey more enjoyable by using a lumbar support pillow. If you don’t have one, a rolled up jacket or sweater will also do the trick.
3. Stop and stretch
Long trips can often lead to stiff muscles and sore joints from sitting. One of the best ways to stave off stiffness is to stand up every few hours and stretch. If you’re driving, map out some scheduled stops to walk around and stretch your legs. If flying, stand at your seat or walk up and down the cabin a few times.
4. Dress for comfort
While you may want to look fashionable while traveling, you don’t want to compromise your comfort in the process. The solution? Find loose-fitting clothing that allows you to move freely and invest in a comfy pair of shoes that will make walking a breeze.
5. Take a rest
Life is fast enough, so why not stop, take a few deep breaths and enjoy the ride? Traveling offers the perfect opportunity to do just that, allowing us to catch up on some much-needed rest without feeling guilty. If you have room in your car or the overhead compartment of your flight, bring along a pillow. Your neck and back will thank you for the TLC.
Jeffrey Langmaid, DC, is the founder of The Evidence Based Chiropractor, a leader in chiropractic communication and research. He is also a chiropractor with Laser Spine Institute based in Tampa, Florida, with seven facilities across the country. He has helped more than 60,000 people find relief from neck and back pain, and can be contacted through laserspineinstitute.com.