The holidays are quickly approaching, and that can often mean that you and the family are heading out of town to visit friends or relatives. We’ve written before about being injured while on the road for the holidays, but in this post, we want to talk about managing existing pain while you’re away from home, whether that’s in a car or on a plane. At the Colorado Spine Institute (CSI) in Loveland, we can provide expert back pain treatment when you need it most. We want you to feel healthy and happy all season long!
Scheduling Your Flights
If you’re traveling a long distance this year for the holidays, you’re most likely going to travel by air for the majority of your trip. You may finally be taking that destination holiday trip to Europe, or you might simply be flying to the East Coast to see family you haven’t seen in several years. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to schedule your flights so that they make the most sense for your health and well-being. Sitting in cramped airline seat for several hours can exacerbate your back pain, so it can make sense to schedule shorter flights with one or two layovers before you reach your final destination. This can lengthen your travel day, but you’ll be able to get off the plane, stretch your legs, and move around the airport. If you’re flying to somewhere on the East Coast from Denver, chances are you’ll have a layover anyway!
Take the time to speak with your doctor or the specialists at CSI before scheduling your flights so that they make the most sense for your specific condition. You may decide that you want a non-stop flight so that you can get to your relative’s house sooner and lie down on their comfy guest bed!
Research Treatment Options
If you’re going to be away from home for a long period of time, be sure to take the time to research treatment options at your destination. You’ll most likely be taking medication with you, but if you tweak your back or you have pain that flares up, you’ll want to know where the nearest doctor or treatment center is. Speak with your friends or family who live there and get recommendations on specialists who can treat your pain quickly and effectively. Also, be sure to talk with your insurance company about where you’re covered when you’re in another state. You don’t want to see a specialist, only to find out that you have to foot the entire bill!
Be Mindful of What You Pack (And What You Pack it In)
If you’re going to be traveling for a few weeks, you’re going to need clothes, toiletries, and several other things in your suitcase. If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, think about taking a small backpack or purse that can hold the essentials while you’re out and about during the day. If all you need is a suitcase, find one that’s easy to roll or carry through the airport. Most importantly of all, be mindful of what you pack – if you don’t need your laptop while you’re away, don’t take it! Less weight can mean less strain on your back and neck when carrying something, and less that you have to drag with you from place to place.
Know Where You’re Staying
If you’re staying with friends or relatives for the holidays, ask them questions about where you’ll be sleeping. Not all guest beds are comfortable, and if you’re being relegated to the pull-out couch in the living room, it’s okay to ask somebody if he or she will switch with you.
If you’ve booked a hotel room, call them before you get there to make sure you have enough pillows or to ask how firm or soft the mattresses are. It can seem a bit picky, but if it can help with your back pain, it’s worth it. You can also ask if they have a luggage service that can help with your bags, or if they have a fitness center where you can do some light exercise to help with stiffness and discomfort following your travels. If the hotel has a pool and spa, a nice swim or a few minutes in the hot tub can also alleviate your pain.
The holidays are meant to be an enjoyable time, but if you’re dealing with chronic back pain, your focus may be on managing your discomfort rather than the joys of the season. At CSI in Loveland, we can provide treatment before you leave so that you can look forward to your car or plane ride to your destination.