We all have experienced sitting for long periods of time or sleeping on different beds while traveling, and we have all experienced the low back pain that comes from it. This can be frustrating especially for those who travel often. With that said we have some easy tips that can help alleviate the low back pain we experience while traveling.
Before we go on, if you haven’t read Part 1 of our ‘Fix Your Low Back’ series, check that out here!
When traveling, do your best to move around as much as you can. If you are on a plane, take the time to stand up and walk around. If you are in a car, stop a few times while driving and get out to strech and walk around. This may mean planning a little extra time for travel, but you will find it to be well worth it. Your ability to stretch out your legs, and allow your hip flexors and glutes to get some relief will increase the relief you feel in your low back. This small, and simple tip can really help our low backs, and can make your trip more enjoyable.
Take something you can roll out with. Now I am not suggesting that you take the your largest foam roller in your checked bag. I am, however, suggesting you take a lacrosse ball or a travel version of a foam roller. Things like the lacrosse ball can be used while flying and driving. Sitting on them and rolling the best you can, can be beneficial. In addition if you fly with a smaller foam roller, you can roll out while on your trip. Foam rolling while traveling is an easy exercise that can be done each morning and evening, and it is one that can really help our low back pain.
Find time to stretch or do mobility exercises when traveling, anyway you can. Our tendency is to throw our normal routine to the wind. Things like a hip flexor lunge stretch or a hip mobility routine in the morning can keep you on track when you are out for work or pleasure. When you have been sleeping in hotel beds that our bodies are not accustomed to, our low backs take the brunt of it. For this, it is important to give some extra care to our hips and glutes in the morning to get our bodies going. These aren’t exercises that take long, and can be done within about 3-5 minutes, and that small amount of time can keep you out of the fire while traveling.
These exercises are not the end all be all to your low back pain when traveling, but they can be extremely beneficial in helping ease your pain. More often than not, it is the simple things that we all need to get back to that can help with the care of our bodies when we are out pushing it to its limits. Stay active and maintian your rehab and mobility routine as best as possible when traveling.
Janaye Freeman is a Certified Athletic Trainer & Lead Therapy Technician at Revive Sport & Spine in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management for the Greater Salt Lake City Utah Valley.