Help! My Back Hurts Whenever I Travel

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Traveling Soon? Be Sure To Avoid Pain!

Traveling with back pain can be unpleasant. Sitting for extended periods during plane or car journeys often leads to aching backs the next day. Fortunately, you can reduce back pain with pre-trip, in-flight, and post-travel strategies. Travel light by opting for two smaller suitcases under 20 pounds each, instead of a heavy one. Invest in a neck or lumbar roll to support your spine and prevent uncomfortable positions. Inquire about discreet exercises for public spaces while traveling. When lifting during your journey, do it in stages to avoid simultaneous lifting and pivoting. In case you forget a support pillow, create one from a rolled-up sweatshirt, towel, or blanket. Maintain proper posture, perform suggested exercises while waiting or seated, and take short walks every 20-30 minutes. These precautions will help keep your back pain-free during your travels.

Tips On How To Keep Back Pain Away From Traveling

Traveling with back pain can be quite uncomfortable. Many travelers have learned from painful experiences that our spines weren’t designed for extended periods of sitting. Often, long hours on a plane or in a car can lead to a sore back the next day.

Here are steps you can take before, during, and after your journey to reduce back pain:

Packing Light: When preparing for your trip, prioritize traveling light. Opt for two smaller suitcases, each weighing no more than 20 pounds, instead of a bulky one. This choice simplifies luggage management and reduces the strain on your back.

Support Your Spine: Invest in a neck or lumbar roll to bolster your spine and prevent uncomfortable positions during your travels. These rolls are invaluable, especially during lengthy periods of sitting.

Exercise on the Go: Seek out exercises suitable for public spaces while traveling. Incorporating simple stretches and movements into your routine can ease tension and discomfort in your back.

Lifting Safely: When lifting luggage or heavy items during your journey, break the lifting process into stages. Avoid simultaneous lifting and pivoting to minimize the risk of back strain.

Improvised Support: If you forget to pack a support pillow, fashion one from a rolled-up sweatshirt, towel, or blanket. Ensure that the lumbar roll you use adequately fills the gap between your lower back and the seat.

Stay Active: Throughout your travel, make a conscious effort to stay mobile. Stand up and take a short walk every 20 to 30 minutes to prevent your back from stiffening. Maintain good posture to ensure proper alignment.

Post-Travel Care: After your journey, perform stretching exercises before lifting your bag off the baggage carousel or unloading the car. Sudden lifting following inactivity can lead to back injuries. Upon reaching your accommodation, lie face down on the floor with a pillow under your chest for a few minutes. This action can elongate your back and relieve pressure from prolonged sitting.

Ice Pack: Include a large plastic bag in your luggage; it occupies minimal space and can be filled with ice and wrapped in a towel to create an ice pack if your back starts to ache.

In the end:

By taking these simple precautions before, during, and after your travel, you can significantly reduce the risk of pains and discomfort that can otherwise mar your travel experience. Don’t hesitate to ask for specific exercises that can make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable. Contact us today to learn how we get traveling back pain out of your head so you can enjoy life.

Click the link below to get our FREE guide on “9 Quick And Easy Tips To Relieve Back Pain” to you get through those painful flights!

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kim gladfelter physiofit 1ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kim Gladfelter, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Women's Health Physical Therapy Specialist at PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness

Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, educator, author, and co-founder of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness. She is known as a keen, well-rounded expert of healing through movement and women’s health specialist in the Silicon Valley area.

Kim has helped men and women of all ages to stay active and feel their best. She also writes about managing pain in her health columns, blogs and the local Los Altos Town Crier newspaper as well as reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries, and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and therapeutic exercise.

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