Spring break is fast approaching and people are itching to get away–according to a recent study, searches for March and April flights are up 40% compared to the same time frame last year!

If you have something on the calendar already, you’ve probably started getting excited about enjoying some much-deserved rest and relaxation or a bit of fun and adventuring.

You’re probably not looking forward to the hassle of getting to your destination. Packing the whole family up for a long drive or a flight can be stressful. Once you’re finally on the road or in the air, the last thing you want to worry about is ending up with a sore neck.

It might seem impossible to arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and comfortable after hours spent in a car or airplane seat. But, there are several things you can do to prevent starting your trip off with a pain in the neck.

Tips for Preventing Neck Pain While On the Go

Be patient and try to chill out: Stress can play a factor in causing neck and other pain. So while travel can be stressful, doing your best to practice patience can help keep your stress levels down and help prevent unnecessary strain on your muscles. Expect the unexpected, assume everything will take a little longer than you think and do your best to keep a “we’ll get there when we get there” attitude. 

Pack an ergonomic pillow: One of the biggest causes of neck pain while traveling is sleeping in an uncomfortable position. An ergonomic pillow can help support your neck and head, reducing the risk of pain and discomfort. Consider packing a travel pillow that is designed for comfort and support. Bringing your own regular pillow can also help you avoid neck pain during your trip as well.

Adjust your seat as much as you can: Whether you’re sitting in an airplane, car, or bus, make sure your seat is adjusted for comfort and proper posture. Adjust the headrest, lumbar support, and seat position to ensure that your neck, back, and legs are supported.

Move around regularly: Sitting in one position for long periods of time can be a major cause of neck pain while traveling. Take breaks to stretch and move around every hour or so. Walk around the airplane cabin or take a break from driving to stretch your legs and neck.

Use proper posture: Whether you’re sitting or standing, it’s important to maintain proper posture to reduce the risk of neck pain. Keep your shoulders relaxed, your neck straight, and your head up. Avoid slouching or hunching over.

Avoid prolonged screen time: Whether you’re watching movies on an airplane or scrolling through social media on your phone, prolonged screen time can be a major cause of neck pain. Take breaks from screen time and consider using a tablet or laptop stand to help maintain proper posture.

Stay hydrated: Dehydration can cause neck pain, especially when you’re traveling. Make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you.

Stretch regularly: Regular stretching can help prevent neck pain and relieve tension. Consider bringing a yoga mat or doing neck and shoulder stretches while waiting at a departure gate or when you take a break from driving. While you’re seated, try doing regular neck rolls–gently lower your head until your chin touches your chest and then, rotate your neck five times in a clockwise direction. After that, repeat the same movement but counterclockwise. To further stretch your neck, place your right hand on the top of your head and gently pull it towards the right. Repeat the same stretch with your left hand on the other side.

Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll arrive at your destination feeling pain-free and ready to jump straight into vacation mode. If you do unfortunately find yourself a little cramped up after your travel time, our Essential Guide for Neck Pain Relief has plenty of tips for relieving neck pain at home (or on vacation).

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you’re planning a vacation and currently dealing with neck pain, consider booking an appointment with the team at Cianci Chiropractic Center before you go. We can provide hands-on adjustments, therapeutic exercises, and other treatments to help relieve neck pain and get you ready to travel comfortably.