You’ve spent hours — and likely no small amount of money — planning your upcoming trip, but if you forget to factor in your back pain, it could derail your carefully laid travel plans.
Back pain is a complicated condition that can weigh down any good vacation far more than an overweight suitcase. Fortunately, you can take steps that help you navigate your back pain and your route.
In this blog, our team of pain management specialists at Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas presents five simple ways to manage back pain as you travel.
1. Pack lightly
Traveling with back pain means you should leave behind that extra pair of shoes and those items you’re not sure you’ll need. Bring only the things you’ll truly use, and consider distributing the weight into multiple bags.
If it’s impossible to travel lightly, plan to have your luggage shipped to your hotel or cruise ship. We also recommend that you ask for help at every point of your journey and avoid lifting your bags as much as possible.
Bonus points for packing lightly and using luggage with wheels.
2. Take a break
It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile; it’s crucial to take breaks to stretch your back now and then. Either pull over safely or stand up in the aisle when the seatbelt sign is off to give your back a break from sitting.
3. Bring comfort items
Now is not the time to skimp on comfort. Invest in a comfort kit containing a stash of heat wraps, cold packs, and travel-friendly soothing creams. Many people find that a small pillow and a foldable footrest help them get through a long flight. Even a small blanket can be rolled up and used for more back support in a pinch.
4. Choose arrangements carefully
The moment you know your travel dates, book your flight as soon as possible. This allows you to grab the most comfortable seat. That could mean springing for a business or first-class seat. If you fly coach, try to arrange for a seat in an exit row where there’s more legroom.
No matter what, do your best to snag an aisle seat so you can easily get up for stretch breaks or a quick stroll.
5. Set a back-friendly itinerary
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, you likely have every moment planned. But if you have back pain, you may want to tweak your itinerary. You can do it all; you may just not want to jam everything you’ve planned into one day.
If one day has you mostly on your feet, balance it with a more restful activity the next day. Consider bus tours that have rest periods built into sightseeing. At the very least, make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes and back-supporting shoes wherever you go.
Want to check in with our experts before you jet off on vacation? We’d love to talk to you about more ways to support your back while you travel. Don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff at the location convenient to you, or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.