Tips from a Chiropractor: How to Prevent Pain While Traveling
Nothing can ruin a vacation like pain.
Your itinerary pretty much gets thrown out the window and you feel like you’re relegated to laying in bed and scrolling through all the local channels while your family members enjoy all the adventures.
Does this sound like I am speaking from personal experience?
Yep, it’s because I am, and that’s why I wanted to write this blog; to help ensure you feel your best while you’re traveling.
This is your Captain speaking and I am going to hit you with some pain-saving advice while we travel at 30,000 feet.
Common Aches and Pain Experienced When Traveling
The two points of travel that I am least concerned about are when you are at home and when you arrive at your destination. In reality, it’s the time in the middle when your body can turn on you. Whether you are traveling by plane, train, or automobile, our bodies are not meant to be stagnant.
Movement is medicine, and when we take that away for an extended amount of time, our body might rebel unless we proactively do something about it. More on this later.
The two most common ailments we treat at Tangelo, as it relates to travel, are lower back and neck pain.
Again, this has to do with assuming an unhealthy body position for an extended amount of time and potentially some pre-existing issues laying dormant and rear their ugly head at the least opportune time.
So how can we keep our back and neck happy while in a confined space?
The answer here is to be proactive and lengthen muscles before they have the chance to get tight.
Below I am going to give your two stretches and two exercises for the lower back and neck that are specifically designed to maintain muscular balance while you are traveling. Your job is to actually do them!
Remember, any exercise is only as good as the intention and consistency behind it. Perform these exercises and stretches before you board your flight.
And if you are traveling by automobile, then perform these before traveling that first mile, and every time you make a pit stop.
Exercises and Stretches for Back Pain
Exercise #1 Hip Hinge: 2 x 10
Note: Pause for one second when you feel the stretch in the hamstrings
Exercise #2 Air Squats: 2 x 10-20
Note: Focus on tempo. Go down slow. Feeling the tension build in your glutes and quads.
Stretch #1: Psoas Stretch: 3 x 20-30 seconds
Note: This is best done while in a half kneeling position. However, you can certainly perform this in a staggered stance. Just make sure to squeeze the glute on the side that you are stretching and keep your core engaged.
Stretch #2 Seated Piriformis Stretch: 3 x 20-30 seconds
Note: Make sure to hinge from the hips instead of rounding the lower back.
Exercises and Stretches for Neck Pain
Exercise #1 Chin Tucks: 10 reps x 5 second hold
Note: Make sure the chin stays level the entire time.
Exercise #2 Scapula CAR’s: 2 x 3 rounds in each direction
Note: Take the shoulder through a full range of motion and make sure to stop for at least one second at each point in the movement. Go slower than you think you should.
Stretch #1 Pec Stretch: 3 x 20-30 seconds
Note: Play with different elbow positions and make sure to keep the rib cage down.
Stretch #2 Scalene Stretch: 3 x 20-30 seconds
Note: Once you feel the stretch, focus on deep breathing. You should feel the collar bone call towards the floor with each exhale.
How Chiropractic Can Help
When we are planning to travel, we take the time to prepare our luggage, our activities and pretty much everything else. Why do we never take the time to prepare our body? If you are traveling soon, take the time to take care of your body so your body can take care of you.
From chiropractic to soft tissue mobilization through modalities like Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.), Tangelo can help make sure you feel your best while you travel the world.
Make an appointment today! Contact our Tangelo Chiropractic + Rehab team today.