Travel Tips

I guess its safe to say that its nearly that time of year. More and more patients in my office, and folks that I come across, are talking about little trips that they’re taking here and there.

A consistent issue that I see as a Chiropractor in my Monroeville/Penn Hills office is that too often people become sore and get into some pain traveling to and from, via car or plane, their relaxing vacation getaways. In essense, to get there (the main point of this blog post), you have to go through some ups and downs.

There are however some simple things that one can do to help take the edge of the travel itself.


1.       The most crucial thing you can do is get up and move around. Every 45-60 minutes just get up and walk the aisle once.

2.       Stretching is important also. When you do get up, extend back at your elbows (think of squeezing your shoulder blades together) and slowly lean your head back.  You can, and should, do this one even while sitting in your seat if youve had your head down to read or on your laptop/tablet for too long. Slowly rotate your hips at your beltline while standing also.

3.       Use a neck support pillow. Those c-shaped pillows you see in most travel sections and in airport shops are great for travel and for making sure your neck is supported in the event that you do fall asleep.

4.       A good way to give yourself some lumbar support is to ask the flight attendant for a pillow or blanket, but dont use it as its meant to be. Make it supportive and put it behind you in the small of your back.

5.       If you carry a one-strapped piece of carry-on luggage or bag, drape it across your body, not just hanging onto one shoulder.

6.       Remember to use all of the proper lifting techniques that I mentioned in a prior blog when it comes to handling your luggage.


1.       As it was with flying, the most important thing you can do is make somewhat frequent stops. I recommend stopping every 60-90 minutes, even if its just to get out and stretch.

2.       Speaking of stretching, the same recommendations for flying apply for driving. You cannot do this enough.

3.       A little bit of ice can go a long way to help out inflamed muscles and/or joints. With driving however, you cant use an ice pack because you cannot get it cold again. What you can do though is simply bring a few Ziploc bags with you. If you need to ice something, just stop at a gas station or restaurant and put some ice in the bag. When youre done, you can re-use it or pitch it and use another.

4.       A neck pillow and lumbar support is also important and recommended for driving long distances.

Those are just the basics when it comes to helping to take the edge off and combat the negative effects of what traveling can do to you.  Being a Chiropractor in Monroeville/Pittsburgh, I feel that its always important for patients to take care of themselves outside of the office.

If you have any of little travel aches and pains or have questions, dont hesitate to contact me at my Penn Hills/Monroeville Chiropractor office.

-Dr. Brent Shealer — Pittsburgh, Monroeville, Penn Hills Chiropractor

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