Travel tips to avoid back pain

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Many of us are already dreading the traveling that this time of year entails. Not only is traveling a hassle, but it can really take a toll on our bodies. Sitting in a car or airplane for multiple hours and carrying heavy luggage can be quite intimidating for people with back pain. How can you help avoid suffering from back pain this holiday season?

Here are a few tips and tricks to make traveling less daunting:

  1. Lumbar support — Airlines and automobile manufacturers don’t provide the necessary support for a bout of prolonged sitting. A rolled towel or T-shirt is sufficient to place above your belt to maintain a normal spinal curve.
  2. Stand up and walk — Stand up frequently and perform lumbar extensions (pictured) to help keep your spine from feeling stiff. If you’re driving, take frequent rest breaks to walk and decrease pressure on your spine.
  3. Luggage selection — Choose rolling luggage and backpacks rather than messenger bags, briefcases, or duffle bags. Ship any heavy cargo to avoid having to place undue stress on your spine.
  4. Ask for help — Don’t hesitate to ask for early boarding, exit-row seating, or assistance with carrying luggage. Airlines employ people to serve and assist you — so use them!
  5. Get your life back — Back pain may be common, but it isn’t normal. You don’t have to settle for a constant battle with back pain. Before you travel, make sure you’ve done everything you can to maximize your chances of a successful and pain-free holiday season.

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