Achy back after a long automobile journey? Neck pain from having to lie down on the plane? Check these out prior to the next time you leave town.

I love going on holidays, but traveling has a unique ability to make me feel older. I often pull muscles when I try to carry my luggage into the overhead bin on the plane. My lower back aches during long car rides. My neck is throbbing following a nap on the plane.

It’s not surprising that traveling can cause pain and, in some cases even injury. “You’re outside of your normal and you’re adjusting your routine,” said Dr. D.J. Kennedy who is a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor working at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. You’re taking a suitcase that weighs 30 pounds for six miles while you race to get to your connecting flight that’s probably not something you’ve learned to do.

As summer travel approaches preandemic levels across America United States, I’m sure that I’m not the only one feeling and contemplating what I can do to alleviate travel-related discomforts and aches. This week’s issue, in part because I’m taking an international flight to catch in just a couple of days, I spoke with a physical therapist and two doctors to seek some advice.

If you’re planning a trip be sure to keep your body’s strengths and limits in your mind the doctor. Kennedy suggested. If driving for extended periods can harm your back so a lengthy driving trip may not be the best choice for you.

However, if you do decide to go on the trip that will cause your body to be unhappy it is possible to plan for it prior to the trip. If you’re suffering from knee arthritis and are experiencing pain while walking it is still possible to take a walk but you’ll need to consult an exercise therapist or physical medicine specialist during the weeks leading up to the trip to increase your mobility and endurance according to Dr. Kennedy said. Also, he said, you could consider having a shot to help reduce inflammation and pain. Take any prescribed pain medication by your doctor to use them if you’re in need of them, he added.

When you’re dealing with luggage, the best strategy is to pack light so that your bags aren’t too heavy. It’s just not possible for some (including myself). However, there are methods to help make heavy luggage easier to manage.

A.D. Kennedy said that roller bags are less likely to cause injuries as well as pain than bag that you need to carry with your hands or carry on your shoulders. He suggests bags that are moved on four wheels instead of two because it takes less energy. The big pushcarts you hire from the airport could also help with moving luggage, he explained.

If you’re required to carry a bag around your body and you’re looking for a backpack, a backpack is the ideal choice, according to doctor. Deborah Venesy, a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health in Ohio and advised that you should utilize both straps to spread the weight equally. Colleen Louw Physical therapist, who is based in Iowa and spokeswoman of the American Physical Therapy Association, said that backpacks should be hung equally across the back and not up against the lower back and that the straps need to be adjusted so that it is simple to get the backpack off and on.

Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you’re struggling to carry your bags according to the Dr. Kennedy said. (He was once a powerlifter who competed, but admitted to having an injury to his shoulder. He often requires assistance in getting his bags in the overhead compartment of the plane.)

After about an hour of the journey in a plane or car my back begins to hurt itching, which is because our bodies aren’t designed to sit still. “Movement is vital for keeping blood flowing to joints and muscles to prevent discomfort and stiffness,” Ms. Louw explained. Ideally, you’ll need to get up and walk around at least once per hour if you’re experiencing discomfort or discomfort, doctor. Kennedy advised. If you’re struggling to remember to do this, you can set an alarm or drink plenty of water to ensure you take regular bathroom breaks Dr. Kennedy suggested. (Dr. Venesy said she prefers seating in the aisle so she is more likely to get up regularly.)

For how to sit and how to sit, Dr. Louw said that sitting straight, or having an incline of just a little, is usually the best posture for your spine. Doctor. Venesy added that rolling up a fleece or sweatshirt and putting it in front of your lower back can also help give you a lumbar support to ease pain.

It can also be beneficial to stretch. One great stretch to perform during sitting is the spine twist. You place both hands on the same leg, and then gently turn your upper body towards the exact same way. You then repeat the process on the opposite side the other way, Dr. Venesy said. A great seated stretch to strengthen the lower back and the hips would be the figure four stretch in which you place the right heel upon your knee, and lean to the left, then back she explained. The doctor. Kennedy said that it might feel good to get up and do a little back bendas well. (If you’re suffering from pain after standing for a long period of time it could be beneficial to alleviate your pain by the forward fold according to Dr. Kennedy.)

If you’re suffering from leg cramps when sitting Try to pump your ankles alternately pointing, and then flexing your feetwhile your knees are bent and extended Madame. Louw suggested.

If you’re like me, you stare at the ceiling a lot on travel or as a passenger — to your tablet, phone or even a book. However, this can lead to neck discomfort as the doctor. Kennedy said. It’s better to move items closer to your eyes. Certain airplanes have gadgets that let you place your tablet or phone to the back of the seat the front in front of your face, the pilot explained You can also purchase accessories that can help you do this (or make one from a bag for sickness).

If you’re worried about falling asleep off on the plane or in the car, you might consider investing in the neck pillows. It’s Dr. Kennedy prefers designs that are a bit smaller in the back as opposed to the sides since they won’t push the head too much when you lean on the seat.

I’m probably not capable of putting all these tips into practice prior to my next travels — I’m pretty sure my luggage will fall below the maximum weight limit, like always however, I’m sure to modify my travel routine. I’ve never stretched out on the plane before however this time I’ll be the person who will be with a slack hips who will be stretching out in the aisle seat and ignoring the side-eyes of everyone else.

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Let’s continue the conversation. Write to me at [email protected].

Keep healthy!