Are you planning a trip any time soon? As the cold weather drags on and spring break approaches for many kids, many people are beginning to look forward to a getaway. According to a recent study, searches for March and April flights are up 40% compared to the same time frame last year!
If you’re one of the lucky ones with a trip already booked, you’re likely starting to get excited for a well-deserved restful vacation or a fun-filled adventure. However, the journey to your destination can be a stressful experience, especially when traveling with young kids. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination with a neck ache from hours of sitting in a car or airplane seat.
But don’t worry, there are ways to prevent neck pain and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and comfortable.
Stay Pain-Free With These Helpful Tips
Manage your stress levels: Stress can be a trigger for neck and other pain. So, while travel can be stressful, doing what you can to minimize stress can help prevent a sore neck or other muscle pain. Assume things won’t go exactly as planned and will likely take longer than expect and try to embrace a “go with the flow” attitude as much as possible. It’ll all be worth it when you arrive pain-free!
Pack an ergonomic pillow: One of the biggest causes of neck pain while traveling is sleeping in an awkward position. Consider packing an ergonomic travel pillow that is designed for comfort and support to help support your neck and head, reducing the risk of pain and discomfort. Bringing your own regular pillow can also help you avoid neck pain during your trip as well.
Adjust your seat: Do what you can to make sure your seat is adjusted for comfort and proper posture. Adjust the headrest, lumbar support, and seat position to ensure that your neck, back, and legs are supported.
Get up and move regularly: Take breaks to stretch and move around every hour or so–sitting in one position for long periods of time is one of the common causes of neck pain while traveling. Walk around the airplane cabin or take a break from driving to stretch your whole body.
Stay hydrated: Dehydration can cause neck pain, especially when you’re traveling. Make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you.
Be mindful of your posture: Whether you’re sitting or standing, it’s important to maintain proper posture to reduce the risk of neck pain. Keep your shoulders relaxed, your neck straight, and your head up. Avoid slouching or hunching over.
Avoid prolonged screen time: Screen time can be a major cause of neck pain. Whether you’re watching movies on an airplane or scrolling through social media on your phone, take regular breaks from screen time. Consider using a tablet or laptop stand to help maintain proper posture.
Stretch regularly: Regular stretching can help prevent neck pain and relieve tension. While seated, try doing regular neck rolls–gently lower your head until your chin touches your chest and then, rotate your neck five times in a clockwise direction. After that, repeat the same movement but counterclockwise. To further stretch your neck, place your right hand on the top of your head and gently pull it towards the right. Repeat the same stretch with your left hand on the other side. You could also consider bringing a yoga mat to do neck and shoulder stretches while waiting at a departure gate or when you take a break from driving.
Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll arrive at your destination feeling pain-free and ready to jump straight into vacation mode. If you do unfortunately find yourself a little cramped up after your travel time, our has plenty of tips for relieving neck pain at home (or on vacation).
With the help of these tips, you can aim to reach your destination with ease and comfort, feeling pain-free and ready to start your vacation.
However, if despite your efforts, you still experience neck pain during or after your travel, our Essential Guide for Neck Pain Relief is here to help. It offers numerous effective strategies for reducing neck pain, both at home and while on vacation.
Reach Out to Us
If you’re planning a vacation and currently dealing with neck pain, consider booking an appointment with the team at South Orange Chiropractic Center before you go. We can provide hands-on adjustments, therapeutic exercises, and other treatments to help relieve neck pain and get you ready to travel comfortably.