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Preventing Injury While Traveling: 6 Tips and Tricks to Enjoy Every Moment

We all look forward to our next vacation to escape the city's chaos and daily life's stresses. However, travel itself can come with its own set of stressors. Pain and injury may arise or worsen when we are removed from our regular routine and environment. This can ruin your trip before it even gets started.

Here is a list of travel hacks tried and tested by our PTs that will help you get through the first (and last) part of your journey with ease.

  1. Your luggage matters. Lugging your bag behind you through the airport can lead to back and shoulder pain. Instead, use a four-spinner wheel carry-on with an attachable tote so that your bag walks with you.

  2. Comfortable shoes for the win! Pack your sandals in your checked-in bag and instead wear lace-up sneakers at the airport. You sometimes walk over a mile in an airport, so wearing shoes that will support your journey is essential.

  3. Optimize your form. Lifting heavy luggage the wrong way can hinder the rest of your vacation. Instead of bending from your back, engage your core and glutes to squat while picking up your bag from the luggage carousel or lifting it to stow it in the overhead compartment. When you can, ask for help!

  4. Start your vacation on the right foot. Staying entertained isn’t always easy on a long flight, so use the time to do your PT exercises. While in your seat, you can perform isometric strengthening, flexibility, and mobility exercises. Get up and walk around to maintain circulation.

  5. Pay attention to your seat support. Airplane seats are not the most comfortable or supportive for your back. Bringing your own seat cushion for lumbar support fills the space and allows you to relax throughout your flight. If you don’t have a cushion, get an extra sweater to roll up and put behind your lower back.

  6. Stay hydrated. Low air pressure on a plane can create a dehydrating environment, which may contribute to more aches and pains when you arrive at your destination. Start drinking water the day before your flight and stay hydrated throughout the day of travel.


Take a deep breath. Travel is always stressful. Take the time to use mindfulness strategies and guided deep breathing. This will ensure you are relaxed and ready to travel in the right headspace.

Physical therapist showing a patient how their shoe insert is affecting their gait.
Gait health starts with your shoes!


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