The 12 Days of Health and Wellness: Day 7, Make Travel Pain Free

The holidays are one of the most popular travel times of the year.  Traveling can lead to back pain, neck pain, headaches, hip pain, and many other aches and pains.  Sitting improperly, in uncomfortable seats, cramped in small spaces for hours upon hours puts a lot of stress and strain on the body.  But there are ways to avoid and reduce these aches and pains so that you can enjoy the holidays.

In the car:

  • Use proper posture.  Sit upright with relaxed shoulders.  Keep your arms close to the sides of your body.
  • Keep your head resting against the headrest.
  • Remove all items from your pockets.
  • Adjust your seat.  You should be close enough to the steering wheel that you can depress the pedals without moving forward from the back of the seat.
  • Try to adjust your seat so that your knees are parallel to the hip or slightly below the hip.
  • Use a low back support.  This will support the normal curve in the low back.
  • Take a break to stand and stretch AT LEAST once every 2 hours on a long trip.
  • Avoid gripping the steering wheel too tightly.  This leads to decreased circulation and increased muscle tension.

In an airplane:

  • Use a low back support.  This will support the normal curve in the low back.  You could use an extra shirt, jacket, or a pillow.
  • Use a neck travel pillow throughout the flight.  This will support the normal curve in the neck.
  • When lifting bags into overhead bins, activate your core muscles and avoid twisting.
  • Perform neck stretches every hour during the flight.
  • Exercises to decrease leg and ankle swelling:
    • Frequently flex and extend feet
    • Frequently extend legs
    • Walk in the cabin
    • Avoid sitting with legs crossed
    • Keep back of knee away from front of seat
    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • Massage legs and calves

Remember, traveling can also be stressful for your kids:

  • Make sure their car seat is appropriate for their age and size.
  • Make sure that the child is properly strapped in.  
  • Infant car seats should face the rear of the car.
  • Car seats should be placed in the back seat of the car.

If you find that you are experiencing back pain, neck pain, headaches, hip pain, or any other traveling aches and pains, make an appointment to see Dr. Quintin or Dr. Katie.  The chiropractors at Sleigh Family Chiropractic in Arlington Heights, IL are specialists at making travel more comfortable by decreasing stress and tension in the body.  Call 847-788-0880 to schedule your FREE consultation.

Source: The American Chiropractic Association www.acatoday.org/HealthTips

Photo credit to: blog.cleveland.com

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