It's summertime!! The official start to summer is June 20 at 9:24 PM (that's the time of the summer solstice). Summer is often filled with fun trips and vacations, but we want to make sure that your trips and vacations aren't ruined or subdued due to back aches and pains. Whether you're traveling by planes, trains, or automobiles, we've got tips for you!
Rule #1 - Hydrate!
Often times when traveling, we get out of our daily schedule and routine. We can easily forget to stay hydrated and drink lots of water. Or we can intentionally not drink water to avoid rest stops on the highway. Dehydration can cause back pain. This is because the discs in your back have a high water concentration. When you dehydrate your self, they shrink, and this can put more stress on your spine.
Rule #2 - Don't Sit Still
Since you are going to be super hydrated and stopping more frequently for bathroom breaks, this will be easy. Our bodies love movement. Getting out of your seat and moving around can help prevent aches and pains associated with travel. It also stimulates blood flow around your body. This means your brain can stay sharp and functioning well if you are driving and navigating. It means that your muscles will get fresh supplies of nutrients. It will also help drive the lubrication of your joints with synovial fluid (the fluid that keeps your joints moving like a well oiled machine). You can also do some stretches while traveling! Check out our previous post on good posture stretches! They're great for in the car, too.
Rule #3 - Support your back
Most airplane and train seats aren't designed with spinal alignment in mind. Some cars boast having comfortable seats for long drives, but they still may not offer the support that you need. Whenever going on trips, I like to have a lumbar roll for support. There are tons of options out there, but you can also craft your own. I find that towels can easily be rolled up to make your own lumbar roll. Place the lumbar roll where your low back hits on your seat. This supports your low back, and enables you to sit with good posture while traveling.
Rule #4 - If you're going to sleep, sleep supported
If you are planning on sleeping on a plane, train, or as a passenger in a car, make sure you are supported. Drifting off to sleep and just letting your head flop whatever direction gravity takes it, can leave you waking up with a stiff and painful neck. The number of travel pillow options these days is absurd but awesome! This website has a whole list of the best travel pillows for every scenario. Personally, I'm a fan of the animal pillow although I'm not sure if they come in adult size (which is a shame).
Got travel plans for summer? Stop in to get adjusted and learn how to make the most of your trip.