If you are having a history of spinal problems -as soon as you plan to travel you will be stressed about the aggravation of pain, isn’t it? You may be suffering from sciatica, you may have undergone treatment for a spine problem or undergone spine surgery! Traveling can increase back and neck discomfort owing to the numerous strains exerted on the spine’s delicate network of muscles, joints, and discs. Handling and lifting luggage and sitting for lengthy periods and having inadequate lumbar support are all major causes of back discomfort while traveling.
For instance, Whether you’re traveling with a pre-existing ailment that causes neck discomfort or you have back pain after a journey, you should be aware of how a multi-hour flight might affect your spine. You have more options than merely adjusting your seat to avoid spine aches if you’re taking a flight.
This blog discusses numerous important tips to travel when you are suffering from spinal problems:
1. Use Luggage Carrying Techniques That Are Safe
Try the following lifting techniques to prevent the spinal tissues from unnecessary stress:
- Rather than bending at the waist, bend at the knees and squat to lift heavy goods.
- Carry the weight in the leg muscles rather than the back muscles when bending.
- Carry goods near to your chest rather than in front of your trunk.
- Instead of putting baggage on one shoulder, distribute weight evenly on both sides of the body.
2. Pack lightly.
Avoid overpacking or utilizing large, hard luggage. Instead, utilize a rolling suitcase and divide the weight among smaller bags that can be hoisted one at a time.
A suitcase made of somewhat heavy materials, such as leather, should be avoided. Use a lightweight suitcase made of canvas, vinyl, or polymers such as polycarbonate.
3. Use neck pillows
Neck pillows are particularly intended to support your head and neck in their natural position. They’re all designed to provide your head with a natural resting posture while maintaining your spinal lordotic curvature.
You may discover a variety of neck pillows on the market to assist you to get a good night’s sleep and relieve neck pain. Pillows consisting of tiny beads or foam perform better than inflated pillows, which do not mold or support your neck as well. You may, however, personalize inflatable or water-filled neck pillows for support and stiffness based on your requirements and preferences.
4. Look at your posture
When sitting for long periods, poor posture puts strain on the spine.
Look for the following while assessing posture:
- On a stable surface, both feet are flat.
- The lumbar lordosis (inward curvature of the lower back) is supported by the seat’s lumbar support or additional support.
- The lower back presses on the seatback or lumbar support.
5. Staying Hydrated is vital
Hydration is essential in all situations. However, staying hydrated is advised. Dehydration in a dry flight cabin can aggravate back pain and joint stiffness.
6. Walking is crucial
Take brief, regular walks to keep your muscles and joints active and minimize stiffness in your lower back and hips. At least once an hour, get up and go around. Request a passage seat in advance while flying, taking the train, or taking the bus to make moving about simpler and less bothersome to other passengers.
7. Get good sleep
Your sleeping posture might have an impact on the health of your back. Try to sleep in a calm fetal posture with your knees bent on your side. Place a little cushion beneath your neck to assist maintain your spine in proper alignment. Another pillow can be placed between your legs to prevent your upper leg from sliding forward and twisting your lower back as you sleep.
Points to note-
Before lifting weights and specific posture please consult your doctor and take advice.
In some conditions, it is not advisable to lift weights and bend forward for a specific period eg. moderate to severe disc prolapse and spinal stenosis, and 3 weeks after spine surgery.
Sleeping over the abdomen is not good for the spine.
We hope you’re feeling better about traveling with spinal problems now. It is quite feasible, and you may even feel better while abroad.
Pain is complicated, and there are several treatment choices accessible to you, including treatments, drugs, and mind-body strategies. If your pain remains after you return from your trip, consult a spine specialist for a long-term remedy. If you suffer persistent spinal problems, please contact NeuroWellness. We will help you cure your pain with full care.
M.B.B.S., DNB – Neurosurgery FINR – Fellow Interventional Neuroradiology, Switzerland Consultant Neurosurgeon – Brain and Spine Neuroendovascular Surgeon.
I’m Dr Ganesh Veerabhadraiah a renowned Neurosurgeon in Bangalore – Brain and Spine and Interventional Neuroradiology/Neuroendovascular specialist, currently heading Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bengaluru. After completing his MBBS, Dr Ganesh went ahead with DNB in super speciality post-graduation degree Neurosurgery at the prestigious Manipal Hospital.