Travel Comfortably

How to Travel Comfortably to Prevent Neck and Back Pain

FindItMore | Whether you travel halfway across the world on a flight or are driving in your car for a cross country road trip—traveling in comfort remains extremely important.

If you are not comfortable for hours at a stretch, there will be a high chance that you’ll end up with either neck pain or back pain. The problem with neck and back pain is that, with time, they can become chronic. Not to mention the fact that your entire trip will be plagued by the constant discomfort you will feel. But, don’t you worry! In this article, we have compiled a list of a few ways in which you can travel comfortably without any risk of developing neck and back pain.

Buy a Neck Pillow for Travelling

To buy a neck pillow if you are a frequent traveler can be a very good investment. In fact, even if you don’t travel often, it will still be a good purchase.

Sitting in a restricted space for hours at a time can cause you to have incorrect posture. This can make your muscles stiff leaving you with neck pain and back pain.

However, with the help of a neck pillow, you will be able to keep your neck upright. This will help you minimize the side-effects of incorrect posture. There are also many varieties of neck pillows available in the market. You can opt for the traditional U-shaped pillow or the scarf-like neck pillow in addition to the other available options. If you like catching up on lost sleep during long flights, you can use this along with a set of earplugs to create the perfect environment to fall asleep.

Try to Take Turns While Travelling

If you are planning a road trip, make a point to have someone else along with you as well. When there is more than one person in a car, it will be better to take turns driving. Not only will this help to share the load, but it will also give you the chance to relax your mind and your body. While you’re not the one driving, you can listen to music or read a novel to calm your body and stimulate your brain. Just try to keep your eyes closed and relax your muscles.

Create a fair driving plan dividing the journey into slots. As soon as it’s the other person‘s turn, make sure that you stretch out your legs and take off as much pressure as you can from your lower back.

Make a Point to Take Frequent Breaks

Again, this is important for people who are planning to cover long distances by driving their cars. Most of us tend to avoid taking breaks to reach our destination as soon as we can. Now, we may reach the destination faster but, the neck and back pain that may be caused due to this is definitely not worth it.

Dr. Gary Brazina, who is an orthopedic surgeon at DISC Sports & Spine Center, says that a traveler should allow himself enough time to rest, walk, and stretch. He further adds that this should be done every two hours or so on the road. In addition to this, a certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, Dr. Patrick Labelle says, “movement is key – your joints have little to no blood supply. They need movement to flush out pain-causing waste products. Movement acts like a mechanical pump to turn-over the fluids that bathe our joints.” According to him, it is necessary for you to move for about 10 minutes for every hour you are on the road.

Carry a Self-Massage Tool When Traveling

Sitting for hours straight in the same position can have a negative effect on our necks. You can use a handheld self-massaging device for relief. You can also use a tennis ball as even they are quite convenient for neck pain relief.

If you have a battery-operated self-massage device, check with the airline officials to see whether it will be allowed onto the flight. Many airports have set-ups where massage therapy is available. Here, you can get a massage therapist to relax your neck and back either before or after the long journey.

Understand the Correct Sitting Posture for Traveling

The problem with car seats or airplane seats is that they are not designed to offer optimal support to our backs. Yes, this fact remains the same even when your car comes branded with “comfortable“ seating arrangements.

As per experts, the best way to avoid any back or neck pain is to maintain good posture while you are driving or sitting. Now, this correct posture may differ from one expert to another. Some experts say that sitting upright where the head and shoulders are neutral in place is the best position to avoid neck or back pain. Whereas, other experts are of the opinion that by slightly angling the seat back, the upper spine and the back will be better relaxed. In the end, though, it all comes down to your preference. You have to make sure that your posture is correct, and keep adjusting it as and when needed.

Make Sure that You are Getting Sufficient Lumbar Support

Whenever we travel for long periods, the cervical spine and the lumbar are the two places that are affected the most. Sitting in the same place and position for hours at a stretch can stiffen the muscles and shortens the hip flexors. In fact, even spasms can be possible in this case.

In order to curb the back pain, it is important to give your lower back some support. You can place a cushion to lessen the stress on your cervical spine and lumbar.

By following the above tips, you can travel comfortably whether your journey is long or short. Just a couple of preventive measures can make a world of difference to preserve your neck and back health. So, before your next trip, don’t forget to put yourself first.

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