Taking a Long Journey This Summer? Remember to Support Your Spine

tips for supporting pain on long journeysOur Stoke chiropractors understand how long journeys, whether by plane, train, or car, can take a toll on your spine and overall musculoskeletal health. Extended periods of sitting, limited mobility, and awkward postures can lead to discomfort and pain, particularly in the back and neck. However, with some proactive measures and mindful practices, you can support your spine and maintain your health during travel.

As summer is fast approaching and many people will be heading away for some well-earned R&R, our chiropractors have put together some essential tips to help you stay comfortable and prevent spinal issues on your next long trip.


The Impact of Travel on Spinal Health


Traveling often involves prolonged sitting, which can lead to several issues affecting spinal health. These may include:


Muscle Stiffness:

Sitting for long periods can cause muscles in the back, neck, and legs to stiffen, leading to discomfort and reduced flexibility.

Poor Posture:

Inadequate seating support, such as airplane seats or car seats, often promotes poor posture, which can strain the spine and surrounding muscles.

Limited Movement:

Restricted movement during travel can reduce blood flow and contribute to muscle fatigue and tension.

Spinal Compression:

Prolonged sitting compresses the spine, particularly the lower back, which can exacerbate existing conditions such as herniated discs or sciatica.


Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Back During Travel


Choose the Right Seat


When booking flights, try to select a seat with more legroom. An aisle seat allows for easier movement and stretching during the flight. In cars, adjust the seat to ensure your knees are slightly lower than your hips and that you have good lumbar support.


Use Supportive Cushions


Bring a small, portable lumbar cushion or a rolled-up towel to provide additional lower back support. This can help maintain the natural curve of your spine and reduce strain on your lower back.


Maintain Good Posture


Sit back in your seat with your buttocks against the backrest. When on a flight, keep your feet flat on the floor and avoid crossing your legs. Ensure your knees are at a right angle to maintain proper alignment of your spine.


Take Frequent Breaks


On long flights, try to stand up, stretch, and walk around the cabin every hour. During road trips, take regular breaks to get out of the car, walk, and stretch. This helps improve blood circulation and reduces muscle stiffness.


Perform Stretching Exercises


Simple stretches can make a significant difference. Stretch your neck, shoulders, and legs regularly. For instance, roll your shoulders forward and backward, tilt your head from side to side, and stretch your hamstrings and calves.


Stay Hydrated


Dehydration can cause muscle cramps and stiffness. Drink plenty of water before and during your journey. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.


Pack Light


Heavy luggage can strain your back, especially when lifting it into overhead compartments or car boots. Use a suitcase with wheels and handle and lift with your legs, not your back, to avoid injury.


Use Good Lifting Techniques


When handling luggage, bend at your knees and hips rather than your waist. Hold the load close to your body and avoid twisting your spine while lifting.


The Role of Chiropractic Care in Travel Health


Chiropractic care can play a significant role in preparing your body for travel and managing any discomfort that arises during or after your journey. Here’s how chiropractic care can help:


Pre-Travel Adjustments:


A pre-travel chiropractic adjustment can ensure your spine is properly aligned, reducing the risk of pain and discomfort during your trip.


Post-Travel Care:


After long journeys, chiropractic care can address any issues that may have developed, such as muscle tension, joint misalignments, or nerve irritation.


Personalised Advice:


Chiropractors can provide tailored advice on ergonomic practices, stretching exercises, and supportive devices to use during travel.


Overall Wellness:


Regular chiropractic care helps maintain overall spinal health, enhancing your body’s resilience to the physical demands of travel.


In summary

Long journeys don’t have to mean discomfort and pain. By following these healthy travel tips and incorporating regular chiropractic care into your routine, you can support your spine and enjoy a more comfortable travel experience. Remember, taking proactive steps to care for your spine can prevent long-term issues and enhance your overall well-being.


Visiting our Stoke Chiropractors


If you’re planning a trip and want to ensure your spine is in optimal condition, or if you’ve recently returned from a journey and are experiencing discomfort, I invite you to visit our clinic for a chiropractic consultation. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain spinal health, ensuring you can travel comfortably and stay active. Schedule your appointment today and take the first step towards a healthier, pain-free travel experience.


Contact City Chiropractic, our Stoke Chiropractic Clinic, on 01782 848 184 or book an appointment online on our Stoke clinic website.