We are often told “It’s about the journey not the destination”. Unfortunately, long periods of sitting while travelling, unfamiliar pillows and uncomfortable mattresses can create discomfort or exacerbate those existing niggles.
If your travelling long distance by car, pack plenty of water and food, and make sure your seat is upright, try and position your tailbone as far back in the seat as possible (this should give your shoulders and head better support).
Once on the road take breaks every 1 to 2 hours (even for just 5 minutes) particularly if you feel tightness and any annoying niggles. Use this time to stretch and relax those muscles (such as shrugging your shoulders and rolling them back in a circular motion). Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
Unless you have the luxury of flying first class your probably in for a long cramped journey. If possible choose an aisle seat that allows you to get up regularly and stretch your legs a little more. Walk and stretch as often as possible. You may find that using a cushion for spinal support will help maintain the natural shape of your spine in an already uncomfortable plane seat. Sleep on long flights is often disrupted and uncomfortable. If your in a cramped economy seat, sleep can be elusive and the possibility of waking up with a crinked neck is common. Sleeping with a neck pillow can help, but make sure you choose a pillow that suits your sleeping needs and supports your neck, thus minimising strain that can lead to post flight “neck crick” and headaches.
If you have poor circulation or susceptible to oedema (fluid retention) consider wearing compression garments, which may help reduce swelling.
Heavy carry on luggage can cause your body to become unbalanced, so where possible try and pack as lightly as possible. When handling your heavy suitcase remember to think about your lifting technique, always lift with your legs and use your feet to pivot instead of using your spine.
Sleeping in an uncomfortable bed with unfamiliar pillows, can trigger additional levels of aches and pains. Avoid sleeping on your stomach and try and sleep on your back or side. Placing small towels under your side where the mattress may dip, and stretching after sleeping can also help. Consider taking your own pillow or purchasing a travel pillow for a guaranteed decent pillow.
Don’t let those pains and niggles distract you from enjoying your holiday. Consult your Chiropractor and see how we can help with any of travel niggles you may develop before, during or after your travel. We also sell travel pillows for a better night’s sleep.
There can be many joys to distance travelling such as beautiful scenery and the excitement of the destination ahead, but hopefully you can arrive pain free and ready to enjoy that much anticipated break.