Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Take Care of Your Back When Travel

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, long hours of sitting in the car, bus, train, or plane can make you feel tired, stiff, and sore. Back pain is the most common complain because of prolonged sitting. Below are some tips to remember when travel.

In the Car

  • Make yourself as comfortable as possible by adjusting the seat closer to the steering wheel. Your knees should be slightly higher than your hips.
  • Use a pillow for back support to reduce lower-back strain, stress, pain, or injury.
  • Exercise your legs often by tightening your calf muscles, and thigh muscles.
  • Position your hands on the steering wheel at around 3 o'clock and 7 o'clock, and periodically change to 10 o'clock and 5 o'clock to minimize arms and hands tension.
  • Loosen and tighten your grip on the steering wheel to improve hands circulation, and lessen muscles fatigue in arms, wrists, and hands.
  • Switch your eyes focus around slowly on the road to avoid eyes tiredness, and tension headaches.
  • Take breaks often as needed for both driver and passengers.

  • While stand up straight, feel your normal spinal "S" curve, and use a pillow or rolled up blanket to keep that curve as you are sitting down, by tucking the pillow just above your waistline.
  • Checked in heavy baggage that are more than 5 percent of your body weight.
  • Stand directly in front of the overhead compartment when lifting carry on bag, and make sure not to twist your spine.
  • Change your sitting position often to improve circulation and avoid leg cramps.
  • Massage your legs and calves often to avoid swelling.
  • Find a way to prop up your legs.
  • Exercise your legs by moving your knees up and down on long flight.
  • Do not sit right underneath the air vent since it can cause tension in the neck and shoulder muscles.
The American Chiropractic Association's Council suggested treating travel as an athletic event, in which performing a warm up before settling down into a seat, or taking brisk walks are recommended. These preparation exercises loosen up the hamstring and calf muscles. Back Pain Can Be Prevented if you carefully monitor your posture!

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  1. I travel w/ my lumbar pillow to support my back. The older I get the more stiff I get when I travel long distances. :(

  2. I do not like long trip, and I can totally relate to stiffness too, Stacey..

    I'm sure you're still a young "chic" comparing to me :-(


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