Pain Free Vacations

“I’m about to go on my annual family vacation and I’m wondering what I can do to prevent any kind of pain or discomfort since I won’t be coming in to be adjusted?”

                                                                                                 ~John G.

There are so many reasons why a vacation can sometimes wreak havoc on your body.  First the obvious, most methods of travel are not kind to the body.  It’s not news that sitting for extended periods of time in a car or plane is uncomfortable.  This is your body’s way of telling you that the three major curves of your spine are not being preserved in their normal positions.  To make sure that this does not occur, I suggest a lumbar pillow to make sure the curve of the low back is supported.  If you plan to sleep while in transit, it is a good idea to bring along a C-shape pillow that allows you to support the curve of your neck.  Preserving those curves will help the body distribute forces more evenly, keep muscles and ligaments at their intended lengths, and reduce pain.

The rule of preserving the spinal curves can also be applied to sleeping.  Hotel beds, guests beds, sofas, or sleeping bags do not do favors for our spines.  I suggest bringing your pillows from home that properly support the curves of the neck.  If you do not have one of these, one can be purchased at our office.  The same goes for the side sleepers out there that require a pillow between their knees to ensure that their pelvis is as stable as possible.

While on vacation, many of us do things that we typically don’t do in our every day lives.  Oftentimes, we walk more and don’t eat home cooked meals.  This is why it’s important to continue doing the stretches and exercises prescribed by your doctor and drink plenty of water to keep your muscles and discs of the spine hydrated.  I would also suggest bringing healthy snacks from home such as individually wrapped fruit and vegetable products to supplement your meals.  It is also important to bring your daily vitamins with you as well.  This will help decrease any fatigue because your body will be receiving the vital minerals and vitamins it needs to function properly.

So in summary, maintain your spinal curves while traveling and sleeping, continue your exercise and stretching regiments, eat healthy snacks, and take your vitamins.  Of course the most important thing is remembering to get adjusted before you leave and as soon as you get back.  This way your body is better able to adapt to any changes while on vacation and once you’re back, correct any subluxations that can arise while you were gone.