4 Tips for Dealing with Back Pain While Travelling

4 Tips for Dealing with Back Pain While Travelling

Dealing with severe or chronic back pain can be troublesome, but that doesn’t mean you cannot lead an active life that includes travelling the world. One of the keys to dealing with back pain is understanding the root cause of your back pain and recognizing the patterns of when you experience your back pain so you can better manage the issue.

Millions of people around the world suffer from back pain, yet many still manage to find ways to cope with their pain so they can still travel. We’ve put together some helpful tips for how you too can deal with with your back pain so you don’t miss out on memorable travel experiences. While we hope these tips will bring you some much needed relief, we recommend you always talk with your doctor before planning a trip to make sure your back pain’s severity doesn’t deem you unfit for travel.

Hotel Tips for Back Pain

If you’re a traveler suffering with back pain, you will want to take extra time researching what hotels will offer the best comfort and facilities to help you manage your pain. One of the most important aspects of choosing a hotel room is to make sure you have a quality mattress to fall asleep on. Certain brands and types of mattresses are more suitable to people with back pain than others.

You want to stay in hotels that use top-notch mattresses like the kind mentioned here. Check with the hotel to see if they also provide hypoallergenic bedding or specialized pillows for people with back pain.

If your back pain makes climbing stairs a difficult task, be sure to book a room on the ground floor or inquire as to whether there is elevator access to higher floors. Higher-end hotels will also usually have bellboys or bellgirls that can assist you with carrying your luggage to your room to help save your back. You may also wish to splurge on a hotel room which offers a jacuzzi tub which will help bring you relief after long days exploring your chosen destination.

It never hurts to pack accessories such as lumbar pillows or heating pads which you know are effective for easing your back pain in case they are not available to purchase or loan from your hotel. Just make sure any electronic devices are capable of being plugged into outlets of different voltages, otherwise you risk damage to your electronic devices and the hotel’s electric circuit.

Travel Activities & Back Pain

If you know your back pain well, you know what activities aggravate your back more and the times of day when your back pain seems to be more noticeable. Plan your trip around your back pain. If you normally suffer from back pain in the evenings or at night, you want to stick to scheduling morning and afternoon activities whenever possible. If cold weather makes your back pain worse, choose a warm weather travel destination.

Wearing the proper shoes will also go a long way to keeping you comfortable throughout your trip. If you’re dealing with back pain, pack comfortable and supportive footwear. Keeping your back pain under control is more important than being fashionable.

To limit the amount of time you have to wait in queues for popular attractions, plan your visits during quieter times. This often means waking up early to beat the crowds, but often provides more fulfilling and less stressful experiences.  

Don’t overload your itinerary, as trying to do too much can lead to your back pain being more prevalent. If you do plan to do a lot of activities one day, consider planning a more relaxed schedule the following day. Giving yourself rest days will ensure you have time to give your back a break if needed.

Lastly, many hotels, resorts, and even airports offer spas or massage parlors which can help relieve any back pain or tension you may have. You can also look at attending yoga classes that are especially designed for back pain while travelling. As we touched on earlier, selecting a hotel or resort with a pool can also do wonders for your back. Swimming is one of the most gentle exercises available to those suffering from back pain and can help you build muscles and strength without putting stress on your joints.   

Back Pain Medications

There are several things you want to pack in your carry-on if you are travelling with back pain, the most important one being your pain medication. Book an appointment with your doctor to see what they recommend you take for your back pain while travelling. They will also be able to inform you which medications may be harmful if taken with other medications. For example, mixing back pain meds with sleeping pills on long-haul flights may be dangerous.

You should keep all medications in their original containers and bring along your actual written doctor’s prescriptions which clearly states what the medications are and why you are taking them. Some medications may not be allowed through customs of some countries, so you may need to do a bit of research or ask your doctor for more information regarding your medications.

Don’t be afraid to inform your airline or flight attendants of your back pain, as they may be able to provide you with more comfortable options. They can also monitor you throughout the flight to make sure you remain as pain-free as possible. And because stress can often make your back pain worse, be sure to always give yourself plenty of time when it comes to catching flights and showing up for reservations.  

Flight Tips for Back Pain

While flights can often be the most difficult part of travelling for back pain sufferers, back pain is less likely to strike if you know where and how to sit on a plane. If you have the means, it goes without saying that booking yourself a seat in Business Class will provide you with much needed comfort. Being able to lie down properly on long-haul flights can mean the difference between suffering in agony and flying rather comfortably.

If your budget restricts you to flying economy, choosing an aisle seat may be your best option. This will allow you to get up easily at regular intervals so you can do a bit of stretching in the aisle or at the back of the plane. Make sure you force yourself to get up regularly, as sitting for extended periods in cramped conditions can really cause your back to tense up and pain will often be the result.

Make sure to not over-pack your carry-on luggage in order to not hurt your back. You should choose bags with wheels which will only require you to do lifting when it comes to placing them in the overhead bins. Don’t be afraid to also ask for assistance from flight attendants or other passengers if your back pain doesn’t allow you to place your bags in the overhead bins yourself.

Booking non-stop flights can reduce your overall time in the air, however, you may find that breaking up a long-haul flight into several legs allows you to stretch more and possibly book in for an airport massage for much needed relief.

We hope our tips for travelling with back pain gets you back to travelling again. While dealing with back pain is never any fun, with a bit of planning and preparation you can minimize your discomfort and start seeing the world again.

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Author: Michael Jerrard

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