Holiday Pain: Travel

Frequent driving, flying, or bus trips can cause serious strain and stress to the spine and make for a very painful holiday season.The Harborside Spine & Sports Center staff is dedicated to helping all of our patients enjoy their holidays while avoiding holiday pain. Shopping and wrapping presents is just the tip of the iceberg.

Preventing back pain begins at square one: packing. For many of us, stuffing our carry-on luggage is standard for traveling procedures. However, it is best to distribute the weight into multiple checked suitcases. For more support, pack heavier items at the bottom of bags and lighter ones on top.

When lifting your luggage into the overhead bin, in and out of the car, and up the stairs, be sure to lift with your legs. Never bend over your waist to pick up items. Bend your knees and lift with your legs, not your back!

When traveling, especially for long flights and road trips, make sure you get up and move around on a regular basis. Walk around if you can so your muscles don’t become stiff.

Drink plenty of water while traveling. Your muscles need hydration to function at full capacity and keep from developing muscle stiffness or inflammation. Use over the counter medication including ibuprofen or acetaminophen if necessary.

Because the holidays are such a hectic time of year, we are often put to work right after travel. It is important that you get enough rest before you get involved in any strenuous activity. Avoid any rigorous work immediately after travel, and instead stay hydrated and stretch. Take time to enjoy your family and friends.

We wish everyone safe travels during the holiday season!