Degenerative Disc Disease | Traveling
If you have degenerative disc disease, then even the most basic daily activities can become painful and have a significant effect on your quality of life. Oftentimes, we don’t even realize how much we use our neck and back until we’re in pain. One popular activity that can be made all the more difficult with pain from degenerative disc disease is traveling. Between juggling luggage, sitting on an airplane or in a car for several hours and keeping moving, there is simply no time to be fighting off pain. The good news is that there are a number of ways to manage your pain while you’re on the go.
Degenerative disc disease is a spine condition that describes the gradual deterioration of the intervertebral discs. While this condition can be accelerated by injury, it is quite often caused by nothing more than regular wear and tear on the spine. Herniated discs, bulging discs and other disc conditions usually develop slowly, and aren’t typically symptomatic unless they result in the compression of a nerve in the spinal column. Treatment of degenerative disc disease is focused on alleviating this compression, managing the patient’s pain and helping the disc to heal.
When traveling, some great ways to reduce your neck and back pain are as follows:
- Don’t overdo it – When we’re traveling, we often push ourselves at an unreasonable pace in order to see and do everything. This can put too much pressure on the spine and make symptoms worse.
- Relax – Stress greatly contributes to neck and back pain because tense muscles can add unnecessary pressure to the spine.
- Get help with your bags – Use a cart at the airport, and ask a porter for help.
- Ask your physician for help with the pain – Speak with your physician about pain medication, anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs or corticosteroid injections.
- Apply heat or ice – This is especially helpful at the end of the day, but a hot pack worn during the day can provide much needed relief.
- If you’re sitting for prolonged periods of time, take frequent breaks – When applicable, get out of your seat on the airplane, or stop at a rest stop when in your car.
Don’t let neck or back pain ruin your trip
Speak with your physician before departing to learn about your condition: its location, causes and treatments that are best suited for you. If you continue to experience pain after several weeks or months, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how we may be able to help with one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.