Have Spine Will Travel

Traveling With Your Spine In Mind

There are multiple ways we can put stress on our bodies when we are getting ready for a great trip or vacation. Here are some areas to look out for, and what you can do to avoid potential problems.

Carrying & lifting:

A number of injuries when traveling occur when lifting and/or carrying is involved. Bags need to be moved around (overhead, under seats) and they often get heavier with souvenirs as we move through the places we visit. Try to get rolling luggage whenever possible. Pack lighter and split items into smaller bags that are more easily lifted and stored. Consider using backpacks that distribute weight more evenly along the back instead of shoulder bags that put unbalanced pressure on the body. Use proper lifting technique whenever lifting bags to store. If you have neck/back problems think about checking your bag or asking for help.

When sitting:

Staying in a cramped space for long periods of time is not idea and can put a burden on your body (especially the low back). Try to get up and move around as much as possible. This will keep the blood flowing and help keep muscles from becoming tight. Change the position you are in regularly to avoid too much stress being placed on one part of the body for too long. There are plenty of seated stretches you can do to target muscles that have a tendency to become tight.

Try to get in the proper ergonomic seated position for your body type. You may need to use lumbar supports, seat wedges, and neck pillows. Be sure they do not put you in a bad position that strains the muscles of the neck and back.

Don’t Stress:

Planning a trip can be fun, and stressful. Be sure to take your time. There are bound to be unforeseen problems during the trip. Try to make a plan of how to deal with problems before they arrive. Use deep breathing techniques, and have a “plan of relaxation” for any bumps in the road. Don’t forget your vitamins and supplements!


Further Reading:

Desk Stretches

Proper Sitting Position

Red Wine

Liver Detox

Daily Nutrition with Supplements

Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.


Westways “Avoiding a pain in the neck”

Travel Tips

Travel Tips for your Health and Wellness

Summer is here, and that means vacation. If you’re going to be in a car, plane, or any other kind of transportation for extended periods of time it’s going to take a toll on your body. Be sure you are prepared mentally, and physically for long trips. Here are some tips to help:

Warm up and Stretch: Go for a walk and warm up your muscles before and after an extended period of sitting. Be sure to stretch when you get a chance, after warming up. Hold your stretch at tension for 30 seconds to help lengthen and relax your muscles. Leg Stretches

Sitting: Be sure you are sitting in a proper position in your chair. You want your muscles relaxed and your spine in a neutral position. Reposition as needed through the trip to stay comfortable. Proper Sitting Position

Support: Be sure you have proper lumbar support. If your seat does not have the right support think about getting something to help. Have a neck pillow that keeps your neck in a relaxed neutral position when sleeping.

Mini-Exercises: Prolonged sitting increases the blood pressure in your legs. Be sure to tighten your calves, gluteal muscles, and thighs and hold for a ten count. Do ankle circles and “A,B,C’s” with your feet. Roll your shoulders forwards and back. Go into a Bruegger’s stretch position by keeping your shoulders back and down. Loosen and relax your grip on the steering wheel. Change the position of your hands frequently when at the steering wheel.

Rest: Be sure you are well rested. If you need a break from driving, pull over and take a powernap.

Hydrate: Be sure to drink enough water on your journey. Bring a water bottle with you and fill it whenever you get a chance.

Move: Stand up and move around (esp. on a plane).

Lift Properly: Be sure you are using proper lifting technique when you are moving anything (packing a trunk, putting bags into an overhead or underneath your seat). Proper Lifting

Eating: Be sure you are eating well, and don’t skip meals. Have healthy snacks available close at hand in case you get hungry.



Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.