Your Guide to Reducing Pain During Holiday Travel

By November 14, 2017November 15th, 2018Educational


There’s no better feeling than spending quality time with loved ones during the holiday season. However, reuniting with family and friends can sometimes mean a painfully long trip. Whether it’s a cross-country car ride, hours standing in the airport, or long periods of sitting on a train, these tips can easily help mitigate the acute or chronic pain you may be feeling.

In-flight Exercises
Waiting in line at the airport, carrying heavy bags and long plane flights can wreak havoc on your neck, back, and legs. Air travel can create a whole host of other painful bodily aches and pains. There are not many situations in which your body rests in a sitting position for such a long period of time with little to no movement. Your neck and back are unsupported by traditional airplane seats and with only a small amount of legroom you could be at risk for blood clots in your legs. When was the last time you thought about exercising or stretching while spending 4 hours sitting?

  • Stay loose on the plane ride with these tips:
    The Foot Twirl
    1. Lift both feet off the floor
    2. Rotate Feet in Circles
    3. Repeat 5 times clockwise and counter clockwise
  • Knees Up
    1. Lift one knee towards your chest, using hands as support
    2. Hold Position for 15 seconds and repeat with other leg
  • Walk it Out
    1. Every now and then (when the seatbelt sign is off) get up for a stroll down the aisle

Chronic Pain in Cars
If you are a passenger, many of the exercises done on a plane can be used in the car. What if you are the driver? Your arms and legs are in unnatural positions with little to no relief. Here are a few tips to help reduce pain during your time on the road:

  • All About Support: On a long drive make sure your back is supported. If you usually recline the seat or sit far from the steering wheel you may want to adjust for a longer ride. Place a small pillow or rolled-up towel behind the lower part of your back to support the natural curve of your spine.
  • Give Me a Break: Taking breaks during your long drive is extremely important. If you start to feel pain, pull over and take a walk or do some simple stretches. Your health is more important than arriving on time.


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