Traveling can be deeply uncomfortable for someone with neck or back pain. All that sitting in poor-quality train, plane or taxi seats can aggravate back problems. Having to heft luggage about just adds insult to injury. Arriving at your destination crippled with pain probably isn’t quite how you pictured your dream vacation, so here are some items that might make traveling a little more comfortable.
One option that might help prevent back pain while traveling is to wear a back brace. Back braces are rigid devices that come in a variety of different sizes and need to be custom-fitted by a specialist. Many experts don’t suggest wearing a back brace continuously because they can further weaken postural muscles and make the back problem worse. However, wearing a back brace during particularly risky activities is encouraged. If traveling sends your back into a spasm, a back brace may help relieve some of the tension.
These are soft, belt-like devices that are strapped around the lower back. The spine professionals at Northamericanspine.com actually provide a free, flexible, elastic back brace to all their patients. Some support only the lower back, but others support higher regions as well. Most modern lumbar support belts can be inconspicuously worn under clothing.
Lumbar Support Cushions
If a back brace or lumbar belt isn’t right for you, how about trying a lumbar support cushion? Lumbar cushions are sometimes referred to as donut-shaped pillows because they’re soft, round and have a hole in the middle. They come in a variety of firmness and widths and are quite easy to carry when traveling. Many come with handy carrying straps. For even greater convenience while traveling, try an inflatable lumbar support cushion. When you don’t need it, deflate it, roll it up and it stow it in a pocket for easy transport. Because it’s inflatable, the degree of firmness can be customized for each seating condition as you move from waiting area to plane seat.
Another common area of spine pain occurs in the neck area, or “cervical spine”. Sleeping in awkward positions in waiting areas and on trains can send anyone’s neck into a spasm. Neck support pillows generally are in a U-shape that fit around the neck and prevent it from sagging into odd positions during sleep. For travel, inflatable neck support pillows are ideal—deflated, they are easy to stuff in a pocket.