Traveling for your job can put you in many situations that irritate your back. Long airplane rides. Pulling large bags and demo cases off of the luggage carousel. Carrying heavy laptops and backpacks on your shoulders. These can all strain the muscles in your back and shoulders. If you are starting to have back pain from your work travels, it's time to see a chiropractic clinic and learn how to prevent serious damage to your neck and back.
It Starts With an Examination
Visit a chiropractor's office for a compete back and neck exam. They can tell you which muscles are being affected and point out which activities are responsible for the strain. There are a variety of treatment options they can offer as well as suggestions to help make travel less stressful on your body.
The goal of any treatment, at this point, is to relax existing muscle tension and strengthen them to prevent more serious damage. For example, if your neck and shoulder muscles are strained during travel, they are not supporting your spine adequately. A sudden twisting movement when pulling a bag down from an overhead bin on the airplane can damage one of the cushioning discs between the vertebrae in your neck. Strengthening those muscles helps them support your neck and prevent this type of injury.
- Physical therapy - This can include warm and cool packs, massage, and range of motion exercises. These gently release the tension on back and neck muscles and allow them to build up their strength.
- Hydrotherapy - The use of warm jets of water against your back increases circulation, decreases inflammation and releases stressed muscles.
- Active release techniques - These are used by chiropractors to coax muscle fibers to relax and stretch back out to their normal length.
How You Can Help
Talk with your doctor's office about ways you can be easier on your back when traveling. Some of the suggestion they will have include:
- Learn about body mechanics - Learn to use your legs to lift properly and take strain off of your back.
- Make use of technology - For instance, instead of carrying a heavy laptop bag on your shoulder, use a bag on rollers that you can pull alongside you.
- Create an exercise routine - Put together a series of exercises that you can do on the plane, in the hotel room and in a car to relax shoulder, neck and back muscles when your travel.
If you travel for your job and your back or neck muscles are beginning to feel stiff and sore, see a doctor and get yourself on a treatment plan to prevent serious injury. A ruptured disc in your neck or back can incapacitate you for weeks or months during recovery, and may require surgery to resolve. Don't put yourself in that position—get help early from professionals, such as those from The Healing Center.