The summer is here and, for many people, that means increased travel. Whether you’re heading away on vacation, visiting family or travelling for business, it’s important that you take time to consider ways to reduce pain while travelling. You might not think of travel as being painful, but it certainly can be the case. Between sitting still for long periods of time in cars, buses and planes, carrying heavy luggage and walking long distances, travel can be painful and tiring. Here are a few tips for reducing pain when travelling.
- CHOOSE APPROPRIATE LUGGAGE: Your choice of luggage means a great deal when it comes to reducing pain while travelling. Large, heavy bags that do not evenly distribute weight can be difficult to carry and cause back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain. In general, it’s a good idea to travel with the smallest bag that you can find, in order to avoid carrying or lifting large amounts. If you’re choosing a backpack or shoulder bag, pick one with thick straps that won’t cut into your shoulders or arms. Whenever possible, do not carry your bag on just one shoulder. Instead, distribute its weight evenly across your body. If you have a bag that can only be carried on one shoulder, alternate frequently to avoid pain. If you’re using a rolling luggage bag, make sure that you choose one that has a handle of an appropriate length. You shouldn’t need to bend or twist your body in order to pull your luggage.
- PACK LIGHT: This is an important tip and a step that many people ignore. You don’t need to bring everything in your home when you’re travelling. Most people bring too much with them. A heavy bag doesn’t just cause pain when you’re carrying it around. It also can cause potential back and shoulder pain when you have to lift it in or out of your car/bus/plane. Take a long thoughtful look at your packing list and see if there’s anything that you can cut out.
- WATCH YOUR POSTURE: When sitting on cars, trains and planes, pay attention to your posture. Don’t slouch or sit with your weight unevenly distributed to one side. Doing so can cause back pain and shoulder pain. It also helps to rest both feet firmly on the floor while you’re seated. If needed, bring your own back support with you on your trip. A pillow or lumbar support cushion can make your trip significantly more comfortable.
- WEAR PROPER SHOES: You’re likely going to do more walking on your trip than you usually do. This is especially true if you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing. For this reason, it’s important to wear proper shoes. Make sure that your shoes support your feet properly and use insoles as needed. Remember, comfort is more important than fashion.
- MOVE WHENEVER YOU CAN: Sitting for long periods of time can cause tension and stiffness in your legs, hips, back and shoulders. If you’re going on a long trip in a car, bus or plane, try to move as much as possible. Get up from your seat, walk around whenever you can and take the time to stretch frequently.
If you need help with a chronic or recent pain or if you have an upcoming trip and would like help with these tips for pain free travel, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.