Busy airports, crazy drivers, everyone rushing to their destination; the holidays are here again and chances are, you’ll be traveling too. Traveling should be an exciting experience but more often than not, traveling can cause aches and pains that you will feel during the trip and when you arrive to your destination. If you need support for a pain-free travel experience, it might be a good idea to contact your physical therapist and book an appointment before the holiday rush!

5 Common Pains From Traveling

Everyone’s body will respond differently to travel when you consider size, weight, and age. Some common pains that you should recognize are:

  • Aches – these are persistent pains that linger even when you are at rest; moving around and increasing blood flow can help with this.
  • Tingling – pinching a nerve is the common cause of tingling in extremities; and once you identify the issue and release the pinch, feeling should return to the body.
  • Cramps – sudden contractions of the muscle causes cramps and can be relieved by stretching the muscle out.
  • Knots – this occurs when muscle fibers tighten and do not relax forming a hard “knot” which can be relieved with movement and massaging of the muscle.

Travel Pain Prevention

Lifting Luggage

The most common issue we see is people not lifting their luggage properly, or packing too much and not distributing the weight. Start by being aware of how many pieces of luggage you are carrying and don’t be afraid to ask for help at the airport. When you do lift, lift with your knees bent. It may seem like this should go without saying, but in the rush to make your flight or get on the road, we can forget this simple step and hurt ourselves.

Bring Your Back Support

If you plan on being in a car or on a flight for a long period of time, be prepared to have your own back support. Whether or not you are prone to back pain, sitting for long periods of time can cause strain to your lower back and shoulders.

Mind Your Posture

This ties in with providing back support. The back support will help, but also being aware of your posture plays a big role. Back support can only do so much, and if you’re hunched over, curving your back and dropping your shoulders, the aches and pains of travel will only intensify.


When you book an appointment with your physical therapist, have them show you some proper stretches to do to prepare for travel. Stretching helps the muscles, ligaments, and blood flow and keeps you limber and loose when traveling. Pay special attention to your legs and hips.

No matter what mode of transportation you are taking, try to make yourself as relaxed and comfortable as possible. If you’re flying take advantage of standing up and moving around to avoid some of these common issues as much as possible. If you’re driving, take frequent stops and stretch your legs. Traveling can be a fun experience, especially when done pain-free.

If you are currently experiencing pain and would like a professional opinion/assessment, sign-up for a FREE Pain Assessment. We will then contact you to schedule an appointment for you to come in and have someone take a look. Our goal is to get you healthy for life!