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The holidays are around the corner and many of us will be travelling far distances to spend time with friends and family. It is a joyous time of year but it is not without its stresses. Whether driving or flying, travel pains and stresses can hinder holiday spirit.
Here are some tips to help reduce these troubles and make traveling more tolerable.
Driving for long periods of time in the same position can strain the back, legs, and neck. There are several simple stretches that can relieve the stress on the body and can be done while driving or during a brief stop. Flex the neck slowly side to side and backwards and forwards to help relieve neck tension. When stopped and your hands do not have to be on the wheel, raise one arm over your head, bend it, and grab the elbow with your other hand. Pull the bent arm gently over your head to the side. Alternate and repeat several times. Also, when stopped and your foot can take a break from the pedals, stretch your leg straight and roll the ankle for several rotations. Taking frequent short breaks and staying hydrated while driving will help relieve the physical stress of long-term sitting as well.
Adding to the stress of travel may be the fear of flying. It is possible for emotional pain to exacerbate any physical pain you may be feeling so it is important to address both. The stretches outlined for driving can also be effective in relieving muscle tension stemming from anxiety but paying attention to your breathing can relieve stress also. Breathe deeply, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. With or without fear of flying, long flights can be restless and uncomfortable so be conscious to sit straight up with your shoulders back to prevent unwanted back aches.
Post-holiday pains? Be sure to see a medical professional for any lingering pain to determine if this indicates a more serious issue.
About Dr. Scott Gottlieb:
Dr. Scott Gottlieb is the founder of Gramercy Pain Management. He is the Director of Pain Management at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) and has treated over 3,000 patients. Dr. Gottlieb is board certified in both pain management and anesthesiology. He has offices in both Manhattan and Montebello, N.Y. He has recently been featured on Yahoo! Health and Everyday Health.