Traveling with Sciatica The Essential Packing Items to ease pain and pressure Conde Nast Traveler

Traveling with sciatica is a major discomfort in the butt — literally. If you’re lucky enough to secure seats in business class where it’s possible to stretch the legs and do what you have to do to feel comfortable and relaxed, the idea of suffering from debilitating nerve discomfort in a small airplane seat or in a train car can make you swear away from long-haul journeys completely.

“Sciatica usually occurs when tension or tightness in muscle and tissues are causing compression to the sciatic nerve which originates from your lower spine to between your muscles in the buttocks, and down to the back part of your leg.” the doctor. Sara Reardon, owner of NOLA Pelvic Health, a pelvic floor physical therapy clinic located in New Orleans. “It usually is seen on one side, however, it could occur on both sides.”

If the lower back or buttock muscle tissues are tight or tight the tissues compress and can irritate your nerve and can result in painful shooting pains that radiate from the buttocks as well as down to the back part of the thigh according to Reardon, Dr. Reardon says. The pain can be worsened by certain types of activities, such as sitting for long periods or sitting in a single position for long periods of duration (hello long flights) or climbing to and from the chair or squatting in order to carry baggage. These are all postures and actions that are required for travel, and they could cause sciatica nerve discomfort.

For me, a full-time traveler and generally active person, I developed a major condition of sciatica along with psoriatic arthritis in the time of the pandemic. I was not sure if I’d be able to manage another long flight. at the time simply going to the store caused me to be in pain.

I finally found the perfect combination of treatment and medication to keep my discomfort under control for my day-to-day routines, however my sciatic nerve discomfort will continue to be present when I sit too long. This isn’t a problem at home, as I’m able to stand up to stretch out my legs, or take a stroll whenever I want to (or sit on my sofa with my legs outstretched)–but on long-haul flights , sitting in the window seat? This is a whole other situation.

I had to be creative and come up with products that could aid in making traveling with sciatica manageable. This is, to me, is worth the extra items I’ve added to my list of packing. Below, I’ve collected some of the gear which provides me the most comfort on longer flights, especially in the economy. It’s true that I strive upgrading to Business Class as often as I can to make the most of the extra legroom however, the items listed below can make long flights on smaller plane seats much more comfortable.

Indestructible Comfort Seat Cushion

If I’m being sincere, this cushion can be somewhat difficult to carry and yet it does better for me than a comparable-sized neck pillow. As per the doctor. Reardon, a seat cushion such as this works by alleviating pressure on your backbone, which assists in relieving the pain and sciatica after sitting for a long period of time. If you’ve lost your cushion in the house I’ve also noticed it beneficial to sit in a type of figure-four form by placing my foot right under my injured thigh or buttocks also can help relieve pain (though it may be uncomfortable for the knees and legs after a few minutes).

Acupoint Physical Massage Therapy lacrosse ball set

“I recommend that you carry a massage ball to stretch out the muscles that are tight in your glutes prior to and during your travels,” Dr. Reardon states. “This aids in increasing blood flow and loosens tissues and muscles that are tight to relieve pressure on the nerve. They’re super easy to carry in your luggage and are a great way as massagers for tight back muscles after long days of travel, too.”

Bodymate Hip Brace for sciatica pain relief

I use the Bodymate Hip Brace, not just to ease sciatic nerve discomfort during long travel as well as to keep my body steady and relatively pain-free while in the field. The wrap-around brace is a comfortable and not invasive when you twist your body in the gentle Pilates workout or sitting in the seat of an airplane.

Geniani Extra huge electric heating pad to help back discomfort

Based on Dr. Reardon, using a heating pad or bathing in a warm tub at the end of the day could aid in relieving symptoms as well. Naturally, you cannot take a bath during your trip, but electric heating pads are safe and are allowed to be carried in your carry-on bag. They can also be used on planes, so long as you are connected the electrical outlets. The warm and gentle heat can aid in relieving tension and ease pressure on your sciatic nerve.

BasicConcepts ‘ airplane foot hammock

Sciatica can be described as a physical condition in which the sciatic nerve — which is a part from the lower spine the hip muscles and delivers nerve signals to your lower extremities before getting imprisoned “somewhere in its path,” Dr. Laura Purdy, MD, MBA describes. Because the precise pain points vary slightly for every person and every now and then, you’ll need to think of new ways and where you can find relief. I notice a significant difference in my ability to extend my legs straight, which isn’t easy in a tiny economy seat. But the BasicConcepts foot hammock for airplanes lets me extend and elevate my legs , even when I’m sitting with a small leg space; simply attach it via the tray table to create an in-flight hammock that can be used for feet and legs.

Big Hippo multi-use lumbar support pillow

Economy seats on planes and trains don’t offer the most lumbar support. This could quickly cause pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is especially true in the case of those who prefer to lean back. I typically wear a balled up jacket or sweater on my lower back to give a little more support. However, to those who want an easier-to-assemble and more comfortable solution, I recommend the Big Hippo pillows for lumbar support were specifically designed to offer ample support to that lower back and the tailbone region thanks to the thick memory foam and wrap-around shape.

Forces of Nature organic nerve treatment for pain

“Make sure you use any prescription medications like muscles relaxers , or nerve pain medications, prior to the flight” Dr. Purdy states. “[OTCanti-inflammatory medicines as well as supplements can be taken prior the flight to ease.” Along with prescription medications I also consume a mixture of anti-inflammatory vitamins and supplements. If you’re in search of an all-in-one remedy it’s you can use the Forces of Nature organic nerve pain treatment is a blend of high-quality essential oils and homeopathic remedies in a tiny container. The size of the rollerball makes it easy to carry in your bag and then apply it as you need.