Pain Free Long Haul Travel

Pain free long-haul travel

Whether you are driving up to Brisbane to catch a show, catching a train to Sydney to see the grandkids or flying to London for an important business meeting, long distance travel can put a great deal of strain on your body. We provide you with eight tips for pain free travel. Review these tips whenever you travel.

1. Pack light and lift with care

Use a lightweight suitcase with a handle for rolling and try to pack as light as possible. If you need more stuff, then go with multiple bags rather than one huge bag. Back strain often occurs near the end of your range of motion when lifting. So experts recommend lifting luggage slowly and breaking the action into smaller parts when possible.

2. BYO lumbar support

Lumbar support is critical to protecting your lower back. If you’re flying at the back of the plane, the seats have absolutely no lumbar support. The best option is to bring your own lumbar support! If you forget, then try rolling up some clothes or using an airline pillow as a brace between the seat and your lower back.

Plenty of car seats don’t have great back support. If your car falls into this category then consider investing in a back cushion that will support your back and maintain the correct shape of your spine.

3. Check posture and feet

Sitting for prolonged periods adds strain to your lower back; poor posture will only make things worse. Make sure your back is aligned against the back of the seat and a headrest is supporting the middle of your head. Keep your shoulders straight and avoid hunching forward. If you are driving adjust the seat and steering wheel to a comfortable position so you don’t have to reach for the wheel.

Proper back support requires bottom up leverage from your feet. Make sure your feet are resting on a firm surface with your knees at right angles. If your seat is too high find a suitable footrest. Ideally you want both feet supported, so on long drives consider using cruise control.

4. Support your neck and head

Most of us want to catch a few hours sleep on a long trip (assuming we aren’t driving). More often than not, a good rest results in a sore neck. The best way to prevent this is to keep your neck and head supported at all times with a traveller’s pillow. Try to steer clear of the blow up kind and look for something that is soft, supporting, adjustable and compact.

5. Drink plenty of water

Water keeps your joints and discs hydrated, reducing stiffness and decompression of your spine. It has the added benefit of making you go to the toilet, which gets you moving and also reduces jetlag.

6. Move and stretch regularly

Every hour get up and move around, whether it’s wandering around the airline cabin or stopping the car for a quick stretch. Complete some easy stretches of your neck, arms and legs, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

Regular movement and stretching will reduce stiffness in the joints and tightness in the muscles, and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

7. Wear compression stockings on long haul flights

Sitting for long periods of time increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This conditions results when a blood clot forms in the veins deep in your body, often your legs, causing swelling, pain and possibly a pulmonary embolism, which can lead to death.

It’s a good idea to wear compression stockings during long trips, particularly if you do not expect to be able to move and stretch regularly. Stockings help to improve blood flow and keep fluid from pooling in your legs.

8. Bring along mobility aids (if needed)

If you are taking a cruise or a lengthy car trip and have mobility difficulties, then look for lite, transportable mobility aids. One idea is a a light weight, easy to disassemble scooter like the Go Go Ultra.


At Willaid Healthcare Solutions we are committed to ensuring you have the tools and equipment you need for a healthy, pain free life: whether at home or on the road. Contact us or come in an visit our showroom for more information about travelling pain free.




This article was created as part of the Your Health Experts program. We are working with other local health experts to bring you the tips, advice and information you need to lead a healthy life. To make sure you get all this great information subscribe to our monthly mini-mag and follow us on Facebook.