Avoiding Back Pain on Vacation


Most people look forward to vacations as a chance to get away from it all. Vacations are our chance to leave the stress of our everyday lives behind and enjoy our favorite activities, see new places or visit friends and family. Vacations also usually represent a significant investment of our free time and money, which means we want to make sure we get the most out of them.

For millions of Americans who have back pain, though, the fun and excitement of vacationing can be extinguished in a hurry. Flare-ups from bone spurs, sciatica, herniated discs or other spinal injuries can ruin even the most enjoyable activities. Back pain is one of the problems of everyday life that can easily “tag along” on your vacation.

So, what can you do to keep back pain from ruining your good time? It turns out that there are a number of things you can do to help prevent neck pain and back pain on vacation.

Getting there: still half the fun?

For lots of vacationers, part of the thrill of getting away lies in the actual travel to the destination. For those who have back pain, though, the idea of traveling in cramped airplanes, trains and cars inspires dread. Here are some tips to help minimize back pain while travelling:

  • Pack lightly, and avoid moving luggage whenever possible. Use rolling luggage to minimize strain. Ask skycaps, taxi drivers and your travel companion(s) to help do the heavy lifting.
  • If traveling by commercial transport, ask to be seated in spaces with extra leg room. If possible, upgrade your seating class to one with more comfortable seats and more space.
  • If traveling by car, make frequent rest stops, and try to avoid driving for too long a stretch at a time. Consider breaking your trip into smaller chunks so that you can have more time to recuperate between car rides. Share the driving responsibilities with a partner, and use cruise control if you can.
  • Use cushioning devices to augment back support while seated.
  • Walk and stretch as much as you can during the trip.

Enjoying your destination

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, continue to protect your back by following these tips:

  • If you are staying in a hotel, call ahead to find out what type of mattresses are in the rooms. Ask if it’s possible to get a more supportive mattress.
  • Alternate days of activity and rest to avoid overtaxing your back.
  • Participate in activities that can help maintain back health. Swimming, walking and yoga are some activities that may be available at your vacation destination and have benefits associated with alleviating back pain.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Get a good night’s rest every night.

If you follow these guidelines, there’s no reason why neck and back pain should keep you from enjoying your vacation. For information about minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that can help you find relief from neck or back pain,
contact Laser Spine Institute today.