Traveling can be an enjoyable adventure or a painful experience when you have back pain. Here are some tips how to make your trip a pleasant one.
- Lift luggage in stages. Don’t hoist it up into the overhead bin in one movement. Move slowly when lifting your carry-on luggage. Instead break it up into smaller parts. Example: when lifting your bag into an overhead bin it can be first be lifted to the arm of the seat. Then onto the top of the seatback and then into the bin all in separate motions.
- Never twist or jerk your body when lifting- this is a common cause of back injuries. Instead pivot with your feet so your whole body moves instead of twisting your back.
- If possible don’t lift- ask a flight attendant for assistance. Keep your bags small and light to make lifting the bags easier for the attendants, saving their backs too. You will be surprised how willing flight attendants are to help you and make your flight more relaxed and enjoyable.
- Keep your medications with you in flight- if you put your medications in your luggage, it could become separated from you and end up in another destination. It could take some time for you to be reunited with your luggage, so keep your medications with you.
- Keep your medications in their proper containers-Don’t place all your medications in one container, don’t mix them. At some security points, they may request to see your medications and if they are mixed in one container it could delay or detain you from your flight.
- Stay active- Ask for an aisle seat (you may need a doctor’s note for this request). Aisle seats make it easier for you to get in and out of your seat without difficulty, so you can move about the cabin. Walking will help keep your back flexible, stimulates the blood flow and helps to curb inflammation, due to pressure on your spine from sitting for long periods.
- Drink water-water circulates the nutrients and oxygen throughout your body. Drinking water frequently keeps your body hydrated, thus reducing inflammation and reducing pain.
- Wear slip-on shoes-Slip on supportive shoes are easy to slip on and off without having to bend over to put them on reducing the strain on your back.
- Use a neck or back pillow to support your neck and spine.
- Recline- When you have back pain, often a reclining position will ease the pain and relax the back. Airline seats recline easily, so lay back and rest, so you are ready for some fun when you arrive at your destination.
- Bring a new great book to read in flight, watch a movie, write a letter or strike up a conversation, this will get your mind off from your back, plus it’s a great little reward for yourself. Diversion helps to keep the pain at bay and gives you something to do, during long flight.
Traveling can be a wonderful part of retirement refuse to allow back pain to keep you from exploring your world!