Are you planning a trip? Advice from a physical therapist so sleeping on a plane doesn’t cause neck and back pain | Gmx Pharm

I love going on vacations, but traveling has a weird way of aging me. Inevitably, I tugged at my muscles as I tried to lift my bag to stow it in the upper compartment of the plane. My lower back hurts on long car rides. And the neck after a short nap on the plane.

Not surprisingly, traveling causes pain and sometimes even injury. “You’re out of your zone, you’re changing your habits,” said Dr. DJ Kennedy, physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. You do things like lug a 30-pound suitcase while walking several miles to catch your connecting flight. And this position probably isn’t something your body trained for.

As summer travel in the United States nears pre-pandemic levels, I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing and wondering What can be done to alleviate travel-related discomfort? As I have a cross country flight in a few days, I spoke to a physical therapist and two doctors for advice for this week’s newsletter.

“When planning your vacation, consider the strengths and limitations of your body”, suggested dr Kennedy before. If you get back pain from sitting in the car for a long time, a week’s drive Wouldn’t be your best option.

But if you really want to travel and you know it can cause physical discomfort, you can take it Steps to prepare in advance. “If you have arthritis in your knee, it hurts to walk, but you can still go for a walk. We recommend seeing a physical therapist in the months leading up to your trip to improve your range of motion and endurance. dr Kennedy said…or added, “You might consider getting injections to reduce swelling and pain. Also, bring a doctor-recommended pain reliever in case you need it. “

When it comes to handling luggage, the best way pack light So that the bag does not become heavy. But for some people (including me) this is not possible. happily, There are ways to make the heavy stuff more manageable.

Wheeled bags cause less injury and pain than hand or shoulder carry.Shutterstock – Shutterstock

dr Kennedy said it was less likely Roller bags cause less injury and pain than handbags or shoulder bags. With that in mind, she prefers to carry bags on four wheels rather than two, as they require less effort to move. “The airport trolley can also be useful for transporting luggage”, Said.

,If you need to carry a bag on your body, a backpack is the best option.” A doctor at Cleveland Clinic’s Spine Health Center in Ohio, Dr. Deborah Vanessy explained the importance of Hang it with both straps to evenly distribute the weight. Colleen Lowe, an Iowa-based physical therapist and spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association, said Backpacks They should hang evenly down the center of the back, not at the cross, and the straps should be adjusted to make the pack easier to put on and take off.

“If you’re having trouble lifting your luggage, don’t hesitate to ask for help,” said Dr. Kennedy. (He’s a former competitive lifter but said he has a shoulder injury and usually asks for help to lift his bag in the upper compartment of the plane.)

About an hour after every car or plane ride my back starts to hurt, And that’s partly because bodies aren’t made to be stable. “Exercise is necessary to keep blood flowing to muscles and joints to prevent stiffness and pain.” Ms. Lou explained. “Ideally, if you’re in pain, get up and move at least once an hour,” advises Dr. Kennedy. If you can’t remember, set an alarm or drink lots of water and you’ll have to keep getting up to go to the bathroom,” suggests Dr. Vanessy pretends and admits she wants to face the gang. Get up to chase you like the seats.

When planning your vacation, consider your body’s strengths and limitations.Shutterstock – Shutterstock

Regarding the seating arrangement, Ms. Lu said so adopt an upright or slightly bent posture This is usually the best position for the spine. dr Vanessy said a good strategy is to roll up the sweatshirt or coat Place it behind your lower back as it acts as a lumbar support to relieve pain.

draw Might also be useful. “A good seated stretch is a spinal stretch where you place both hands on one leg and slowly twist your torso in the same direction, then repeat on the other side,” he said. Dr. Vanessi. “Another option for the role lower back and hips It’s a four-shape stretch where your right heel rests on your left knee and you bend forward and vice versa.” dr Kennedy suggested another option: Stand up and lean back slightly, and if it bothers you or hurts you can lean forward.

“C experimental CWires in the legs when sitting Try pumping your ankles, alternately pointing, and then bending your legs, bending and straightening your knees,” Ms Louv suggests.

If, like me, you look down a lot during flights or as a passenger in a car, you’re looking at your phone, tablet, or book. “but This position can cause neck pain. said dr Kennedy. much better to doBring things to eye level. “Some planes are now equipped with devices that allow you to hang your phone or tablet on the front seat backrest,” he said. You can also buy special accessories for this, or even make one using the disposable bags they provide on the flight.

If you think you can sleep on both a plane and a car, you might as well invest in one neck pad dr Kennedy prefers designs that are thinner in the back than on the sides because they don’t tilt your head too far forward when you recline in the seat.

I won’t be able to implement all of these tips for my next trip and I’m sure my luggage will be under the normal weight limit, but I will make some changes to my travel habits. Secure. I’ve never stretched on an airplane before, but this time I’m sitting in the aisle seat with my hips stretched unintentionally, Ignore all prying eyes.

by Melinda Weiner Moyer

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