Travel Hacks: 6 Tips and 3 Exercises To Do For Back Pain Free Travel

Dr. Beau Pierce

We all know that traveling is amazing, especially during the summer, but it can also be stressful and detrimental to our health when we’re constantly on the go.  Here are six tips and 3 stretches to do to help you stay healthy on the road.

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A person sitting and reading the newspaper

Sticking to an exercise routine while being on the road can be challenging. However, conditions such as low back pain require a regular exercise regimen. Prolonged periods of sitting in a car, train, or plane can also further aggravate existing low back issues. Here are some exercise suggestions for a quick, but effective workout that can be done almost anywhere without equipment.

# 1 Hip flexor and Adductor Stretch

Long rides in the car, train, or plan can lead to tight muscles in the hip area such as the posas, the iliopsoas, and the adductors. Tightness in this area can put pressure on the low back. This stretch can help to restore range of motion and flexibility after sitting or driving for hours.

Start in a kneeling position. Place one foot to the side, making sure to turn it outward. Lean towards the foot until you feel a gentle stretch in the front of the kneeling leg. Hold for the prescribed duration. Then return to starting position and switch sides.

# 2 Hip bridge

Weak gluteal muscles can increase the risk for low back pain. Long periods of sitting and tight hip flexors can prevent this muscles group from being properly activated and will weaken it in the long run. The hip bridge is a great exercise to reactivate and train the glutes.

Begin lying on floor, facing up. Bend knees so feet are firmly on floor with arms extended to the sides. Activate core muscles. Lift hips off floor to attain a bridge position with knees, hips, and shoulders in alignment. Slowly return to start position. Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

# 3 Bird Dog

The bird dog is a great exercise to build strength and stability for the deep stabilizers of the core such as the transverse abdominis, the multifidi, the intertransversarii group, and the erector spinae group – making it a very effective exercise for low back pain prevention.

Begin on your hands and knees with your head and back in a straight position. Hands should be under your shoulders and your hips directly above your knees. Activate core muscles. Raise one arm to shoulder level as opposite leg simultaneously lifts off floor, extending to hip height. Pause momentarily. Return to start position and alternate sides. Maintain a straight spine position, not allowing your hips to twist or rotate. Do not hyper-extend low back when extending leg. Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.


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