If you’re planning a trip, watch your back. Summer is the time for travel, but travel can also be the cause of low back pain. Air travel in particular is hazardous to spinal health. Slouching for several hours in an ergonomically dysfunctional coach seat compresses the discs between the vertebrae and makes any pre-existing spine condition worse. And there’s no break once you get back on the ground, as you lunge forward to yank your heavy suitcase off the luggage carousel. Then there’s all that walking through the airport that slowly fatigues the low back, so that if you have even a hint of arthritis in your lumbar spine joints, you can anticipate a spike in pain. But there are things you can do to make travel more bearable for your back.

• Sit with your bottom fully lodged at the back of the airplane seat and place a firm cushion in the small of your back.

• Select an aisle seat and get up and move around as often as you are allowed. If you wait until the pain starts, it’s too late.

• Don’t be a hero at the luggage carousel. Take your time. Bend your knees, not your back and avoid twisting your spine. Heavy suitcase – ask for help.

• If your back acts up as you stroll, pick up the pace and lightly contract your abdominals as you walk. Increasing your core strength is a great long-term prevention strategy as well.

If you have any question, please give us a call at 516-829-0030.

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