Have a trip planned soon? Vacations can help you unwind and feel refreshed. However, for those with chronic pain, travel can be difficult. It’s easier to manage pain from home, where you have all your supplies and can see your chiropractor regularly. That doesn’t mean you should avoid traveling, however; in fact, your vacation can help tension fade away with proper pain management techniques.
Start your pain management by booking a chiropractor appointment before heading out. This way you start out your trip feeling your absolute best. Consider adding a massage before your chiropractor appointment to help your body be more nimble during the adjustment.
Try to pack as light as you can. This can be a struggle, especially if you need to pack items to deal with your chronic pain. Try to choose the essentials. You may want to break up your larger suitcase into smaller bags so you can carry less at one time. Choose a suitcase with wheels to reduce strain. If you do have to lift your bag into a storage compartment, start by first lifting it to a seat. Get help if the bag is too heavy for you.
When we say pack the essentials, that means anything you need to help ease pain. If you’re driving, that might mean packing a pillow topper for your bed and your own pillows. No matter what mode of transportation you’re using, you may want to pack a coccyx cushion for tailbone pain, a travel pillow for neck pain, and a lumbar support pillow for back pain. You can also use a rolled up blanket (or outerwear) for your back or neck. Ice packs, heating pads, and certain gels/creams can be helpful as well. Ask your chiropractor what they recommend to treat your pain on the go.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need if you’re staying at a hotel. Call guest relations if there aren’t enough pillows or you want another option, such as a foam pillow. Calling in advance can ensure you choose a hotel that will be able to accommodate your needs.
Ensure you’re sitting with good posture. Sitting too long can be painful (especially if you have bad posture). Make sure you’re following proper posture standards to reduce pain.
Stretch and move whenever possible. If you make a stop, walk around, take bathroom breaks, anything you can do to get up and move a little. There are also stretches you can do while seated to help your body stay limber.
Don’t let pain keep you from vacationing with ease. Take any necessary steps to ease the burden so you can enjoy your trip! Ask a chiropractor for additional tips regarding your personal needs to ensure you get the most out of your travels.