Taking Care of Your Back While Traveling

The last thing you want is for your vacation to be disturbed by increased back pain. Whether you are traveling by car, train, or plane, sitting for long periods of time can create stiffness, soreness, and pressure points that lead to increased pain. The tips below will help you to take a proactive approach to you back’s health while traveling.


Whether sitting at your desk at work, or staying seated while traveling, it is important to get up at least every 2 hours to reduce stiffness in your muscles and joints. Even if you just walk to and from the restroom, up and down the aisle, or stop at a rest stop and walk for a few minutes, it can make a world of difference. If there is a place on the train or plane you are traveling in that you can stand for a few minutes, it can further help your body to recover from the pressure points created when sitting.

Full-body stretching may not always be easy to achieve while in tight spaces when traveling, but there are many seated and standing stretches that can be completed without requiring a full range of motion. This could be anything from shoulder shrugs, contractions, leaning forward and backwards, and rolling your neck in small circles. Many stretches can be completed while seated, but if you have the opportunity to stretch while standing you can increase your range of motion.

Stretching and seated exercises are not just ideal for eliminating pain, but they are great for increasing circulation. Some simple seated exercises are twisting your torso fluidly from right to left, kicking your legs straight out in front of you, tilting your hips back and forth or sideways, and doing marching motions with your legs. Flexing and realizing muscles will also help to increase circulation while seated.

Adjust Your Seat
Adjusting your seat can make a world of difference when you will be seated for a long period of time. If your seat reclines to a less vertical position, that may be more comfortable than sitting up straight. Even if your seat does not adjust more than a few inches, it can make a significant difference. Also take advantage of leg rests if they are available. If you don’t have leg rests, you can place your legs on your luggage to increase the elevation of your feet, and the angle of your legs, which will increase circulation.

Travel With Pillows
Bringing travel pillows with you can help to eliminate pressure points caused by injury or spinal diseases associated with aging. Pillows can be placed at the base of your spine, behind your shoulders, and behind your head while sitting. Travel pillows can also be an excellent alternative to uncomfortable hotel pillows. There are a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials for travel pillows—so find one that is specifically designed to meet your needs.

Stay Hydrated
Hydration is essential for flushing out toxins and maintaining proper circulation. Decreased circulation can lead to increased pain and stiffness in your back and your entire body. While it may be tempting to treat yourself to alcohol, coffee, tea, and sugar-filled fruit juices while traveling, opt instead for water and electrolyte-filled beverages.

While the tips above may seem simple, they will help you to care for your muscles, joints, and spine while traveling.

This article was contributed on behalf of Gulf Coast Spine Care, your number one choice when looking for spine-related treatments. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!