Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is journey, not a destination.”  While the adage is theoretically sound, the meaning changes when you live day to day with a bad back.  In this case, let’s leave the quotes to school and look ahead to summer.

Whether you’re planning a Memorial Day weekend road trip, canoeing over an afternoon or catching a flight to the beach, here are some ways Dr. Fast recommends for staying comfortable while traveling:

  1. Functional footwear: I’ve been swayed by the sparkle on a high heel or the strappiest of espadrilles calling my name from the shoe section display.  But everyone – and shoe – has their time to shine. When traveling wear comfortable tennis shoes with arch and ankle support. You may encounter unfamiliar terrain at the beach house, or need to run to catch a flight.
  2. Stretch 1 and 2 and 3!: Driving up-right in the car can stiffen muscle causing nerve pain and even sciatica.  Take advantage of adjustable lumbar support in your car and recline to your comfort to redistribute weight and stress on your back. Take advantage of rest stops where you can take a walk or use playground equipment to stretch your spine and legs.
  3. The Ominous Overhead: You may have flown all over the country for years, even consider yourself the “perfect packer,” but this is the first time your luggage has left you second guessing.  Enable all ergonomic features, like handles and straps to maintain proper balance. Leave the “clean jerk” to Olympic weightlifter and ask a flight attendant for help putting your bag in the overhead compartment.

Follow these tips, and your next visit to The Back Pain Clinic Belleville will be to show us pictures from your trip! Afterall, without the destination, what’s the point in the journey?