Prevent Aches and Pains During Summer Travel

Whether you’re flying or traveling by car to your vacation destination this summer, chances are it will involve prolonged sitting.

This can leave you feeling achy, stiff, and uncomfortable and it’s an unpleasant way to start an exciting vacation.

As chiropractors, we recommend the following tips to prevent travel aches and pains:

Airplane Travel

  • To maintain your spine’s natural “S” curve, use a pillow behind your back just above your beltline and lay another pillow between your neck and the headrest.
  • Backpacks and carry-on’s should only weigh about 10-15% of your bodyweight, so anything heavier should be checked luggage to avoid strains from heavy overhead lifting. 
  • Utilize proper lifting mechanics while placing your carry-on in the overhead compartment (i.e. do not twist your back or head while lifting). 
  • While seated, change your position slightly every so often to improve circulation in your legs and prevent cramps. 
  • Opt to walk through the terminal on layovers instead of sitting while waiting for your next flight.

Car Travel

  • As the driver, your seat should be as close to the steering wheel as possible. Your knees should be slightly higher than your hips.
  • Consider placing a lumbar support roll between your lower back and vehicle seat. It will help you maintain that natural “S” curve of the spine.
  • To reduce the risk of swelling and discomfort, tighten your muscles as you drive. Start with your toes, opening them as wide as you can for 10 seconds. Then tighten your calf muscles, then your thigh muscles, and then your gluteal muscles. Roll your shoulders forward and back and tilt your head side to side.
  • Drink plenty of water and take frequent rest breaks.

Follow these tips to ward off problems during your summer travel.

If your vacation has led to pain, give us a call to schedule an appointment today.



Dr. Mike Urban's experience in sport performance training, cardiovascular rehabilitation, and neuromusculoskeletal chiropractic disciplines have been achieved through field experience and extensive education that includes training through Chapel, McMurtrie and Bartlett Chiropractic Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic in Chesterfield, Missouri. Dr. Urban checks his email daily and welcomes any questions, comments, or inquiries to

Posted on June 20, 2017 and filed under wellness & conditioning.