Safe travel tips
Ease the Pain of Packing
Pack your suitcase on the floor of your home where the main door is located. Instead of packing in your bedroom, upstairs or downstairs, and then having to lift and carry a heavy suitcase up or down stairs, bring what you need to a suitcase located close to your front door. This can help prevent injury before you start your vacation. Furthermore, avoid movements that combine lifting and twisting of the spine especially when loading your bags in the trunk or placing them in an overhead bin. Performing whole-body movement will reduce the tension on the spine.
Pack the Injury Reducing Essentials
Towels – a beach towel or small bath towel can be a great accessory to keep you pain free while you are away. Not only can you use towels to help you stretch your legs and upper back, similar to a yoga strap. But towels can add support to the flat pillows often provided at hotels. Simply roll up the towel lengthwise and place inside the pillow case towards the bottom. This will create an arch to support the base of the neck for more comfortable sleep as well as to minimize neck pain.
Water Bottle – Staying hydrated is important during travel. With the low humidity and high altitudes air plane can be a cesspool for germs. Dehydration can make lower our immune system and making us more susceptible to cold and flu germs. Hydration is also important for muscle function. As you walk and explore new cities and sites, drinking before, during and after activity will help prevent muscles from fatiguing and becoming painful. That same water bottle can also help with foot pain after a day of adventure. A frozen water bottle placed in the arch of the foot, while you roll your foot back and forth, can help alleviate tension and soreness common after lots of walking.
Stretch the Right Muscles Prevent Pain
The muscles in the front of the hips will often get tight after sitting for a long time in a plane or car. The Runners Lunge is a great stretch to prevent these muscles from causing hip or back pain.
Start with the feet hip width apart.
Step approximately 3 feet forward with one foot and lower into a lunge position. The front knee should be bent to a 90-degree angle.
Squeeze the glute of the back leg and drive that hip forward.
Once you feel a stretch in the front of the back leg, hold for 1-2 seconds.
Repeat on the other side.
Muscles in the upper back region are also vulnerable to injury while vacationing, from all the lifting and carrying of heavy luggage. The Thread the Needle stretch can help to open up the shoulders and reduce stiffness in the upper back.
Begin on your hands and knees. Place your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Hands and knees should be shoulder width apart.
With the palm facing up, slide your right arm underneath your left arm. Let your right shoulder come all the way down to the floor, while turning your head to the left.
Keep your left elbow lifting and your hips raised. Keep your head elevated and turn it comfortably to the left.
Let your upper back open up while relaxing your lower back.
Hold 30 secs and repeat on the other side.
More knowledge: Check out this helpful article on common travel etiquette mistakes.
Author: Dr. Nekessa Remy is an award-winning chiropractor, a registered and medical acupuncturist and one of Canada’s fastest rising and sought-after health and wellness expert in the industry today. She is the current owner of Mississauga’s The Chiropractic Office, a comprehensive injury management clinic focused on sports-related injuries and woman’s health issues and also runs a practice in downtown Toronto, at Integra Health Centre where she works amongst other leaders in the health care field.