George Gershwin famously wrote that “It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy…” Indeed, many of us take time off in the summer months and hit the open road. Unfortunately, the time spent traveling to and from our destinations can be a real pain in the neck and back (literally)! Keep these tips in mind while traveling this summer:
No matter what mode of transport you are using, make sure to take regular breaks to walk and stretch. Long periods of sitting in the same position can affect your spine and lead to an achy back and neck. Motion increases circulation, lessens stress on the spine and can also help to reduce fatigue. If you are traveling by air, consider choosing an aisle seat; you can walk around the cabin whenever it is safe to do so.
Poor posture puts a lot of stress on your spine. While sitting, keep your back aligned against the back of the seat. Use that headrest! Remind yourself to keep your shoulders straight. Both feet should be resting firmly on the floor. If you are driving, make sure that your seat and steering wheel are properly adjusted.
Start by packing as lightly as you can. Use a suitcase with wheels to make navigating the airport less exhausting. Be sure to bend at the knees when lifting luggage to spare your back. If you must carry a bag, using a backpack that has two straps will distribute the weight more evenly.
Incorporate as much stretching into your travel plans as you can. Even small intervals of stretching can increase circulation and keep your back from stiffening up.
Call your chiropractor to schedule a visit before your vacation. An adjustment can help you stay comfortable during your trip, especially if you suffer from persistent back problems.