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Tips for Traveling with Recurring Lower Back Pain

Tips for Traveling with Recurring Lower Back Pain

If you live with lower back pain, you may have to put extra thought into regular activities such as work, recreation, or travel. Road trips and airline flights can be especially uncomfortable, especially if you don’t think about your symptoms or prepare the right supplies beforehand. The following tips will help you travel better, regardless of the reason for your back discomfort. You may also learn more effective and safe ways to care for your back pain.

businessman sitting on an airplane

1. Choose the Right Mode of Travel

Everyone’s back pain is different. If your symptoms are mild or do not occur regularly, you may be fine with a cross-country road trip or traveling by plane internationally. When you are dealing with moderate back pain and inflammation, however, it may be difficult if not impossible to sit for more than a short period.

Whether you are traveling for business or leisure, be honest with yourself and your fellow travelers about what you can handle. After all, back pain will make it more difficult to enjoy your trip or handle business matters effectively. If a short flight or car trip spaced out over several days is best for your needs, prepare ahead of time.

Consult with a travel agent or an airline professional to find the right seats and optimal schedule. When riding or driving with friends or family members, work together to create a fun and safe travel plan that works for everyone.

smiling man using laptop computer

2. Pack Smart & Ahead of Time

Along with your clothing and toiletries, a few specific supplies can make traveling with back pain more comfortable. If you experience discomfort in your shoulders or upper back, purchase a neck pillow. Wearing it while you sit on your car ride or flight can help you to avoid strain and tension. Those with lower back pain should invest in a lumbar pillow. Put it behind your back as you ride or drive. The additional support will cradle your lumbar area and help to improve your posture.

Some people benefit from sitting on a pillow or cushion while driving. Other ideas include wearing a belt or a supportive girdle. A belly support band can be especially helpful for pregnant women who are traveling. Finally, as you pack your suitcase, think economically. Pairing basic tops with classic slacks or jeans can help you to maximize the outfits you have on your trip, all while keeping your bag light (look for luggage on wheels as well). You may also choose to purchase certain beauty and wellness items at your destination or find an ergonomic travel bag.

3. Move as Often as Possible

When you stay in one position while traveling, your back can become stiff. You may also experience pain from sitting with a hunched posture or resting in an uncomfortable seat. To avoid discomfort and tension in your back, get up and move as often as possible.

If you are on an airline flight, walk about the cabin as soon as the seatbelt sign is turned off. Take a trip to the bathroom to stretch your legs, arms, and feet. Find time for breaks during car trips. Visit a rest stop, mall, or diner so you can walk around and move your muscles.

When you have to sit for long periods, stretch your neck. Move each ear toward your shoulder or turn your head from side to side. You can also tilt your chin toward your chest. When you arrive at your destination, take some time for a stretch and a walk. This will help to realign your spine, reduce pain, and make you feel more energized.

woman with back pain

Traveling Without Back Discomfort

For those who experience discomfort in their back but still want or need to travel, portable laser therapy for back pain can provide convenient, safe, and effective relief. Cutting-edge therapies like photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), formerly often referred to as low-level light therapy or LLLT, are becoming popular for relieving mild to moderate aches, muscle spasms, and inflammation. For many, it is one of the best ways to get relief from lower back pain.

Using non-ionizing light sources, PBMT devices penetrate your skin to modulate pain and inflammation without any invasive treatments or pharmaceuticals. You can even take them with you while you travel. Before you schedule your next trip, give laser therapy a try. You may just find your new solution for more enjoyable and comfortable vacations or business trips.

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Dr. Hassun
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