5 Tips for Traveling This Holiday Season

By Dr. Nicklaus Barnes   •   Charleston Chiropractic Associates

How can you avoid back pain while enjoying friends and family this season?

When preparing for holiday trips and spending time with friends and family, we are usually extremely busy with planning. From travel plans to hotel stays, packing to ensuring that everyone has what they need for the trek, the holiday seasons are typically pretty stressful. Here are 5 quick and easy tips on how you can avoid neck and back pain while traveling this year!

1. Take breaks while traveling to stretch and move around. It is imperative that while traveling long distances, whether it be by car, plane, or train, that you take time to stretch and move around often! By doing simple stretches for the neck, shoulders, back, and legs, you can largely reduce and prevent the amount of stiffness that you may encounter while enjoying your trip!

2. Make proper use of mid-back and low-back support while traveling. While it is important to be comfortable when driving or riding as a passenger, it is also important to note that your posture in a seat is crucial to your spinal health. Doing things like bringing up the backs of the car seat to support your back, adjusting the mirrors to the appropriate position, and positioning the seat of the chair to fit your height will help you decrease pain levels by maintaining good posture during the ride.

3. Give your neck a break, especially if you are a passenger. We often like to have things to entertain us during travel. Whether that be reading a book, checking your favorite social media site, or watching your favorite movie this often requires a great deal of looking down. To prevent yourself from having a very stiff, sore neck and/or a headache give yourself constant reminders to keep your head facing straight ahead as much as possible. Simple changes like holding your book, phone, or tablet upright instead of down and in your lap will help encourage the muscles in your neck to hold a healthy posture.

4. Bring your own pillows. Believe it or not, pillows will make or break the ability for you to have a good night sleep or to have a comfortable ride when traveling. Our bodies become accompanied to our usual sleeping environment, so sleeping on different pillows while away from home can sometimes make your body sore and disturb your spine’s alignment. By bringing your own pillow to sleep on, or a neck pillow to nap on while riding, you will decrease the chances of having neck and upper back pain during and after your travels.

5. Make sure you visit your local chiropractor before and after traveling. The best way to prevent stiffness and soreness before, during, and after a long trip this holiday season is to pay a visit to your chiropractor! Chiropractors have the ability to adjust the joints of your spine, arms, and legs, to encourage the optimal health of your nervous system! When your joints are properly aligned, not only does your nervous system function properly, but your muscles have the opportunity to relax and work with you, not against you! Making frequent visits to a chiropractor is always a great idea, whether you’re traveling or not!

By taking these five simple tips seriously, you are doing what it takes to ensure that your holiday season will be joyous, relaxing, and most of all…healthy!

Dr. Nicklaus Barnes is the owner and founder of Charleston Chiropractic Associates


This article was featured in the November 2020 issue of Carolina Bay Neighbors magazine.


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