Don’t let holiday travel bring you to us for injury treatment in Somerville

holiday travel injury somerville

With Thanksgiving taking place this Thursday, the holiday season will be officially open. The start of the holiday season has a number of implications, most of which relate to busier schedules and more obligations, and for the majority of people, an increase in traveling is part of this equation.

While some travel plans may require you to traverse the country more than once and others may be more conservative with multiple hour-long drives in your neck of the woods, being on the road or in the air during this time of year can be a real pain for all of us. Between crowded highways, packed planes and the general mania of the holidays, the process of getting from one point to another can be dreadful. On top of this, being in a confined space and sitting for long periods of time can aggravate your back or neck.

The main reason for this is that airplane and car seats are designed for comfort for the average back curve, but many people have variations with flat backs or excessively curved backs. The typical contoured seat puts the average flat back on too much of a prolonged stretch, and the average curved back is not used to the lack of support and can get overstrained as a result.

This causes many people with back pain to be hesitant about traveling, which may lead to unnecessary stress or prevent them from traveling altogether. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take while traveling that will reduce the chances of experiencing back pain. Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation recommends these tips for managing back pain while traveling this holiday season to avoid injury treatment in Somerville, NJ:

  • Stretch your entire body, especially your back, before departing, to prepare it for the prolonged stretch of contoured seats
  • Avoid hunching forward; keep both feet on the ground
  • Flat backs need to block the prolonged overstretch by creating a soft arch in the seat; many cars have built in lumbar supports; planes need a supplemental support, like an inflatable lumbar pillow, rolled towel or travel sweater
  • Curved and swayed backs need similar extra support to fill in the space
  • Flex and straighten your legs and arms, move your knees up and down and make circles with your ankles
  • Stand up and move around at least once every 30 minutes; if there’s enough space, do some stretching while standing; if not, do some basic seated stretches
  • Pack lightly, check heavy bags and avoid overhead lifting of heavy luggage
  • When driving in a car, follow the same seating tips as above; also make sure you’re as close to the wheel as possible to avoid a hunched reaching posture
  • Take frequent quick stops every 45 minutes to take the constant stretch off the back; walk around and arch the back and side bend slowly to relieve the sitting strain; trade off driving duties

Though traveling may seem like a pain, that doesn’t mean it should cause you any actual back pain. Follow these tips to avoid injury treatment in Somerville, Woodbridge, Union and Edison, NJ. For additional information on how to avoid back pain this holiday season or to schedule an appointment for any aches or pains you may already be experiencing, contact Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation at 908-393-9877.


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