Travelling is incredibly rewarding and enriches one’s life. That being said it is filled with potential problems that can make the most idyllic location miserable. Simple things like over-stuffed hotel pillows, terrible guest beds, and airline seats are just some of the potential hazards.
Here are five tips to reduce your risk of back and neck pain while travelling.
1. Bring a travel pillow or use a towel when the hotel or guest pillows are the wrong size. Hotels love to place over-stuffed pillows on the bed to make it look inviting and luxurious. Unfortunately they are terrible for your neck, but an extra towel can be folded to the exact size that you need.
2. Do your stretches! It is common to stop all of the habits and routines of daily living while travelling, but the ones that keep us flexible and prevent injuries need to be continued. Stretches are a great example of something you need to do while travelling. If you can’t or do not want to lay on the floor try sitting in a chair and bending forward to the floor to lengthen your lower back. That can really help reduce the effects of your brother’s 25 year old guest bed.
3. Take walks! You are in a new location and that is the perfect reason to go out and explore. Walking can reduce stress and improve blood flow to stiff sore muscles. Sitting puts more pressure on your discs than standing so get up and move. It is also a great way to take a break from relatives that increase your stress and cause your muscles to tighten.
4. Get up once an hour at least if you are in an airplane. As already mentioned prolonged sitting puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your spinal discs. Even it is just to walk toward the bathroom, that short break from those awful airline seats is time well spent.
5. Do not sleep on the airplane. This one angers many because they got the red-eye so that they could sleep during the trip and arrive rested. Well how rested you will be is up for debate and only accomplished by the most seasoned travelers. The problem with sleeping on a plane is it is impossible to sleep with good posture. Most people sleep with their head twisted to one side drooling on themselves. The horseshoe travelling pillows are only marginally helpful. Over the years I have seen people complain of neck pain ruining a vacation after sleeping on a plane in the contorted position.
These are simple and easy to accomplish habits that really prevent major health problems while travelling.