Between arranging transportation, finding an affordable hotel and packing the right outfits, traveling can be complicated. This is doubly true if you have degenerative disc disease — an often painful condition characterized by the ongoing deterioration of the spine’s cushioning discs. Thankfully, by implementing a few easy tips, you can help manage your back pain and have a more pleasant traveling experience.
Traveling with degenerative disc disease
Each case of degenerative disc disease is different, so it’s important to consult with your physician regarding how to best control your discomfort while away from home. While each patient is different, there are a number of things everyone with back pain should keep in mind before embarking on a road trip or flight. Here are five simple tips for traveling with degenerative disc disease:
- Invest in good slip-on shoes — By avoiding lace-up shoes, you won’t have to bend over to put them on and take them off, which is especially advantageous if you have to go through airport security.
- Have a stretching routine — Be sure to stretch key muscles before and after taking your seat in the car or plane. Your physician will help you determine what stretches would be most beneficial for your back pain.
- Choose your seat wisely — If you’re flying, try to grab an aisle seat, as these are easier to get in and out of. If your seat reclines, be sure to take advantage of this feature.
- Pack smart — Only pack what you absolutely need, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when carrying luggage. If you must pick up luggage by yourself, do so slowly and avoid any twisting motions. Also, opt for a backpack instead of bags with a single shoulder strap.
- Keep medicine on hand — It’s always smart to have physician-approved pain medication in reach while traveling. It’s also beneficial to bring heat wraps, ice packs, supportive pillows and other easy-to-carry methods of pain management.
Minimally invasive procedures for degenerative disc disease
Individuals with advanced degenerative disc disease may find it particularly difficult to travel. In these severe cases, surgical intervention may be recommended to stabilize the spinal column and relieve any nerve compression. At USA Spine Care, our board-certified surgeons+ perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that only require a less than 1-inch incision, sparing the muscles and helping our patients avoid the lengthy recovery periods^ that are often associated with traditional open spine surgeries.
Contact USA Spine Care today to receive an MRI review at no cost* to determine if you may be a candidatefor one of our minimally invasive procedures.
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