Taking Care of Your Back While Traveling

HikingTraveling can be fun and exciting, but it really doesn’t take a lot to ruin a trip. All it takes is to get sick or get hurt, and this can happen just as easily on the road as it can at home.

One problem that people often overlook when they travel is how it can affect chronic back pain. If you aren’t careful, you could make chronic back pain and other problems such as sciatica worse while you’re on vacation. Although Gulf Coast Spine Care treats sciatica and other back issues, you should still take care of your spine when you travel if you don’t want to ruin your back and your vacation. Here are some tips that you should find useful.

Traveling by Plane

Flying may be one of the most comfortable ways to travel, but it can be hard on your back if you aren’t careful. You can get up and walk around on a plane, but you will still probably spend the majority of your time sitting in your seat. When you are sitting, try to support your head and neck with a pillow to avoid getting a sore neck. You can use a second pillow or even a rolled-up blanket to support your lower back as well. You should also have plenty of space for your feet, enough to keep them directly in front of you and stretch your legs out. Finally, make sure you get up and walk around whenever you can. One of the worst things you can do with a bad back is nothing at all. Staying active is good for your spinal health, and that means getting up and walking around every so often as you’re flying.


If your vacation involves lots of walking while carrying a backpack, make sure that your backpack is balanced and packed lightly. You may think you can load up a backpack to its breaking point and carry it around, but it only takes 30 to 40 minutes of carrying this load before you could end up with a situation that will be painful for the next several days.

When you go on a trip that involves hiking, try packing a couple of bags. The heaviest stuff should go in a suitcase that can be kept where you are staying, while the essentials – toiletries, food and a change of clothes – should be kept in a small backpack. Remember to travel light, and make sure that you can move freely as you walk around. When you do go for a walk, don’t push yourself. If you think a hike is going to be too far for you, try a shorter distance instead, especially if you have to carry a backpack.

Traveling by Car

Whether you love or hate the idea of going on a long road trip, there is no denying that it can be just as hard on your back as any other physical exertion. Unlike riding on a plane, you don’t have the luxury of being able to get up and walk around while a car is moving; you have to sit still, often for several hours at a time. The inactivity alone will be the worst part when it comes to your spine, but you can mitigate that with proper posture. Make sure that you are sitting upright and that your head and neck are getting plenty of support. You should also have plenty of leg room, which will mean adjusting your seat and making sure that your car isn’t packed too full. Finally, make sure you make frequent stops if you have a long way to go. There should be plenty of rest stops on your way to your destination, so take advantage of them every hour or so to get out of your car and walk around.

This article was contributed on behalf of Gulf Coast Spine Care, your number one choice when looking for help with spine issues. Click here and see how they can help you! 

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