If you are headed out of town on a summer vacation the last thing you want is for that time to be interrupted by pain.
One of the most common complaints that creep up on people while out of town is neck pain. The typical story goes like this:
"A few days into our vacation I woke up with a stiff neck. I thought it would go away once I was up and about, but it's still here after traveling home a week later"
Don't let your time away to relax and refresh be interrupted by nagging aches and stiffness. Here are 5 ways to avoid neck pain while traveling:
1. Don't Look Down
While in the car or on a plane, don't look down at your book or tablet. Your neck is structured to hold your head upright, not in a forward bending position. This leads to muscle imbalances, stiffness, and trigger points. Hold any device or reading material up at eye level to avoid holding your head in this position for an extended period. Better yet, sit back and relax while listening to a book on tape (our families favorite travel past time).
2. Watch Your Sitting Posture
While traveling, be sure you are sitting on top of your "sit bones". You do not want to be slouched forward. With your pelvis in this position you can stack your back, shoulders, and head over your pelvis. This allows the bones of your neck to be supported by your muscles with the least amount of effort to work against gravity.
3. Take Care Carrying Bags
While carrying bags or suitcase, it's ideal if they wheel or you can use a backpack. If not, alternate carrying your bags between both shoulders. Carrying a heavy object (yes, ladies this could be your purse) on one side only will cause muscles imbalances in the neck, shoulder, and back. Keeping your posture symmetrical will prevent overuse and repetitive injuries as well. Also, try to pack light so that your bags are not too heavy!
4. Support Your Back
For long car or plane rides it makes sense to support your back to prevent back pain, but it might surprise you that it helps neck pain as well. Using a lumbar support (or a towel roll positioned in the arch of your back) allows you to remain upright with your ears aligned over your shoulders. It prevents the "C" shape position we often fall into, which increases strain in the neck.
5. Take Your Own Pillow
After resting for 8 hours on an unfamiliar pillow, we can easily wake up with neck pain. Our bodies are used to resting in a particular position at home most of the time. You will get a much better nights sleep, no matter the quality of the mattress, if your neck rests down in its normal position.
With a little preparation and strategic choices with your packing, you can prevent neck pain from creeping up during your summer vacation.
For more information on prevention and treatment of neck pain that you can start TODAY at HOME, request a FREE copy of our eBook:
Wishing you a relaxing and pain free vacation this summer. . .I'll be looking for you and your family at the Memphis airport this summer holding your favorite pillows!
Again, you can click HERE for that FREE eBook: