If you’re among the millions of people who experience some degree of back pain occasionally, taking a well-deserved break doesn’t necessarily mean leaving that discomfort behind. In many cases, however, you can maintain your back health when you get away by taking a few precautions. Here are a few suggestions from leading Santa Monica spine surgery center, The Spine Institute.
1. Arrange Accommodations in Advance
Many hotels are willing to make reasonable accommodations to maintain your comfort. If you need a firmer mattress, for instance, request this when making reservations.
2. Pack Lightly
Minimize what you take with you and avoid the temptation to refuse help getting stuff to your room. Wheeled luggage can make it easier to cart souvenirs back home. Avoid heavy backpacks if you’ll be hiking or camping.
3. Maintain Travel Comfort
Try to choose an airline that offers cabin designs with enough room to keep your knees aligned with your hips. If you’re going by car, use a neck pillow for support and maintain your posture to retain the natural curvature of your spine.
4. Stretch Your Back
Long car rides can result in muscle cramps and spasms. Make occasional stops to stretch your back and take in the sights around you. If you’re on a plane, make an effort to change positions often or request an aisle seat to make it easier to get up for a short walk.
5. Choose Sensible Activities
Listen to the voice in your head that says, “Maybe I should skip the bungee jumping,” especially if that’s not aligned with your normal fitness level. Consider adding back-friendly activities like swimming and yoga to your itinerary.
6. Take Meds with You
If you have a history of back pain, take your medications with you. Check ahead of time to see if your pharmacy has a location in your vacation area or see about getting additional doses just in case.
Getting a good night’s sleep will allow muscles supporting your spine to recover from a day of walking and browsing. Minimizing alcohol consumption and drinking plenty of water can also keep your back healthy on vacation.
If back pain is preventing you from living your life to the fullest, it’s time to reach out to The Spine Institute at (310) 828-7757. Our team of diagnosticians and board-certified spine surgeons in Santa Monica can determine the source of your pain and help you choose the right treatment for your lifestyle.