How to Avoid Travel-Related Back Pain this Holiday Season
By Usker Naqvi, MD
It’s that time of year again! The holiday travel season is upon us. Will you be joining the millions of Americans lugging their suitcases through a busy airport or in and out of a car? If so, here are some tips that may help you avoid back pain during your travels.
If you are traveling by car, try these tips to avoid neck and back pain:
1. Use proper body mechanics to lift your luggage into and out of your vehicle. When you are lifting your suitcase, remember to bend at the knees, draw it close to you and then stand up.
2. Support your lower back during your drive. If your seat does not have adequate lumbar support, a small travel pillow or rolled-up towel will give you added support and comfort.
3. Prolonged sitting while on a long car trip can aggravate your back pain. Stop every few hours and get out of the car to stretch and walk around. Bonus: this will help prevent blood clots, too.
4. Take at least one meal break during your trip. This gives you time to walk around, change positions and stretch your back out.
If you are traveling by airplane, here are some tips to help avoid neck and back pain:
1. When you are at the airport, rent a pull cart for transporting your luggage to help reduce the risk of injuring your back.
2. Invest in a suitcase with wheels. By pulling the suitcase instead of carrying a heavy bag through the airport, you may prevent a back injury.
3. Avoid carrying heavy objects, such as a laptop or duffle bag, by a shoulder strap.
4. If you are flying a long distance, avoid sitting in your seat for too long. Stand up and stretch your lower back. Walk around in the airplane every few hours.
5. Pack light. If your suitcase is too heavy to lift, you may want to pack a second one and divide heavy items between the two suitcases.
6. Be careful when lifting your carry-on luggage into the overhead compartment on the airplane. If your carry-on is too heavy or too bulky, you can place your neck and lower back at risk of an injury when lifting it above your head and placing it into the compartment.
I hope that these tips help you prevent neck and back pain during the upcoming holiday season. If you experience pain, the staff of Resurgens Spine Center is here to help you get back to doing what you love. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!
Usker Naqvi, MD, MS, received his medical degree from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, NJ. He completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at University of Miami Leonard R. Miller School of Medicine/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. Dr. Naqvi completed a fellowship in Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine at OSS Health in York, PA. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Additionally, he is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the North American Spine Society and the Spine Intervention Society. Dr. Naqvi practices at the Resurgens Covington and Decatur locations.
Resurgens Spine Center • Non-surgical & Surgical Spine Care • 24 Convenient Atlanta Locations • www.ResurgensSpine.com
Looking for more back pain tips? Resurgens talks about back pain 101 here.