Whether you travel by car, plane or train, you are at risk from experiencing back pain. Sitting down for longer periods of time puts pressure on your spine. If you are unfortunate, the end result is back pain often in the lower region of the back.
Get Moving In Your Seat
There is nothing wrong with doing lower back exercises while seated. Of course, you can make a couple of trips to the buffet cart when you are on a train, but if you are seated on a plane, do what pilots do – stretch.
Stretching in your seat will not only help your lumbar spine, but it will also make you more alert. Cramped traveling conditions will make it hard for you to do the most vigorous exercises, but there is no need to go overboard.
One of the best exercises you can do, is to stretch your arms out above your head. This is how to do it.
Before you start, you should check your posture. Are you sitting with both feet flat on the floor?
The other thing you should check is if your lumbar spine is pressed into the back of your seat. That will help you to achieve the correct alignment of your spine.
When you have established that you are seated correctly, reach with both arms above your head. Bring your palms together and try to lift your entire core out of the seat without doing so. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Bring A Support
When you know that you are going on a long journey, it is a good idea to bring a variety of support.
Traveling posture correctors from Your Back Pain Relief are advertised all the time. Unfortunately, most regular travellers don’t invest in a support or supports. But, if you do travel for extended periods, that is exactly what you should do.
Primarily, there are two supports that can make your journey much more comfortable. Two of the best supports to invest in are lumbar supports and neck supports. There is a variety available, and you should invest in the one which is right for you.
If you are already experiencing back problems, it is a good idea to invest in a support that you can wear under your clothes for the duration of the journey.
Lumbar Back Support
When you don’t have a back problem, you should still protect yourself against back pain. In that case, buying a support that you can place in between your lower back and the seat, is the best idea. Most are relatively inexpensive and are available online.
One mistake that many traveller’s make is to presume their support is going to last forever. Over time the support will start to compress and will not offer the same level of protection against back problems. When you travel frequently, it is a good idea to buy a new support at least once a year.
Neck Support Pillow
A neck support pillow will help to support your neck and keep your airway open at the same time. As most regular travelers know, when you fall asleep without a neck support, you often end up snoring. The reason is that your airway closes up.
When you wake up, you may experience that your neck hurts. As you slept, the discs in your neck will have become compressed. Microcirculation will have been cut off and the small blood vessels in your neck will have been starved of oxygen. That is one of the problems.
If you are unfortunate, tendons and muscles may have shortened, and are now causing you pain. Your discs may even have “rubbed” together.
When you use a neck pillow, many of these problems can be avoided altogether.
Using A Footrest Can Help
It is only understandable that you don’t want to bring too much extra gear when you travel. However, many airlines and train companies have caught onto the fact that their passengers want to arrive feeling refreshed.
It is not unusual to find a footrest provided for you. When one is not provided, it is a good idea to ask if you can have one. Airlines often keep them available but don’t necessarily “advertise” that they are on board. If you are concerned about deep vein thrombosis, a foot rest is a good idea.
Heat And Ice Therapy
Heat and ice therapy may not help you while you are traveling, but both can certainly help when you arrive at your destination.
Thanks to new technologies, there are all sorts of handy things that you can buy. Most of them work when you press a button or pop them into a microwave for a few minutes.
The technology is very much the same as the one used in wine coolers or temperate sleeves that keep red wine at the right temperature.
Lotions and Potions
On top of that, you have lotions and potions that you can try. A tried and tested lotion is arnica. You will find that it is available in various formats.
Using arnica gel for the lower back is a great idea as it helps to cool the lumbar spine. If your problem is in your neck, a lotion or oil is a much better idea.
Adding arnica massage oil to the bath is another option that you can try. You can even use it in the shower as it is quickly absorbed by the skin.
Can you always avoid back pain when you travel? The simple answer to that question is no. The best thing that you can do is to do your utmost to avoid it. Yes, it does mean that you have to spend a little bit of money. In the long run, it is worth it. Your body will thank you for it. Doing lower back exercises is great, but you should never underestimate the benefits of back supports. They will help you to avoid many of the problems that you experience when sitting down for extended periods of time.