Three Travel Tips for Those with Bad Backs

bad back on planeTraveling with chronic back pain can be extremely annoying and unpleasant. Improperly developed back muscles, a weak core, vertebral misalignments or a bulging disc are among the most common causes of back pain. Here are three simple and useful travel tips for individuals who experience back pain. 

Monitor Your Posture When Lifting Heavy Objects 

You may need to carry your backpack or lift your luggage when traveling. Bad posture during lifting is the primary cause of spinal problems because it results in an uneven distribution of the pressure exerted on the vertebrae when one bends his or her back. Physical therapists recommend to avoid bending forward as much as possible when lifting objects. Instead, bend your knees and adjust the position of your legs while keeping your back straight and do the lifting with your legs rather than your spine. 

Use a Yoga Ball Chair at Home to Strengthen the Core Muscles 

The abdominal muscles and the spinal muscles provide solid support to the vertebrae of the spine. When pressure is exerted on your back, the core muscles are stabilizing the individual vertebrae, which prevents discs from bulging and helps with back pain. A yoga ball chair ( is perhaps the best way to strengthen your core before traveling. All you need to do is sit on a yoga ball chair while performing your usual activities, which works the stabilizing muscles of the core and the small muscles of the spine that are not activated when sitting on a regular flat chair. Read more about ball chair benefits here:

Sleep on a Rigid Surface

Sleeping on a soft bed or mattress when traveling can worsen your back pain because it does not offer enough support to the spine. In fact, sleeping on soft mattresses causes the spine to bend and facilitates an uneven pressure distribution. If the bed in your hotel is too soft and you experience back pain, you can sleep on the floor with some blankets or padding underneath for comfort. Resting on a rigid surface or on orthopedic mattresses is recommended by physicians who treat back pain.