For people who enjoy traveling, or who must travel for work, simple steps that support spine health can prevent serious issues and make travel more enjoyable.
Taking care of your spine while you’re on the road is simple. Here are the 5 S’s of spinal health for travel.
● ShiftMost of us are in the habit of carrying our bags in a certain way, normally on one shoulder or the other. This pulls the spine out of alignment and leads to back pain. Shift the way that you’re carrying your bags regularly so that you don’t end up out of whack or straining the muscles of your back or shoulders.
● SupportIt’s no secret that seats on planes, buses, trains and in cars are less than ideal for comfort. Bring your own support in the form of a travel pillow to place behind your lower back, aligning your spine and preventing strain. Forgot your pillow? Don’t worry, you can roll up a jacket, sweater or blanket and place it behind your back for the same effect.
● StretchTake a few minutes to stretch every hour or so. Focus on hip flexor, hamstring, shoulder and neck stretches in order to release tension on the spine.● StandStand up and move around regularly - every half hour if possible. If you’re driving, that means stopping for a quick walk and if you’re on a plane or train, that might mean just standing up for a few moments. The spine wasn’t meant to be stationary for long periods of time. Movement is the key to keeping it loose and healthy.
● ShrinkKeep your luggage as small as possible. Carry absolutely as little with you as you can, because even if your suitcase has rollers you’re still going to have to lug it up and down stairs or lift it, which will pull on your spine. Shrink the size of your suitcases as well, opting for several small cases as opposed to one huge one, allowing you more flexibility when carrying them.
The more you love and care for your spine while you’re traveling, the more it’s going to love you back! Using the 5 S’s of spine health is an easy way to make your travel more comfortable and more sustainable, now and in the long run.