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  • Writer's pictureDr. Hanna Shays

Travel Exercises for Lower Back & Hip Pain

Traveling to France last week meant a 9 hour plane ride and then a 1 hour car ride into Paris. That's A LOT of sitting in a static position. In this short post, I'd like to focus on sharing some easy travel exercises that can help break up long travel days and provide some relief for low back and hip pain.

Muscle activation plays a big role in alleviating low back and hip pain during prolonged sitting while traveling. When sitting for extended periods, muscles in the back and hips can become stiff and tense due to lack of movement. Performing targeted muscle activation, such as gentle stretches or isometric contractions, helps to increase blood flow and flexibility in these areas. This can relieve pressure on the lower back and hips by reducing muscle tightness and promoting better posture. Additionally, muscle activation stimulates the release of endorphins, which act as natural pain relievers, further diminishing discomfort associated with prolonged sitting. Incorporating these simple exercises into your travel routine can significantly enhance comfort and reduce the risk of experiencing pain or stiffness during long trips.

Be sure to get up and move around when able as well. This could look like rest stops along the highway or getting up and going to the back of the airplane where there is usually more room to stand and move (international flights).

While on vacation, you may not be able to find the time to perform your prescribed exercise program, but you can always turn to these exercises for some relief of low back and hip discomfort from sitting. Walking on vacation is also very important in breaking the cycle of pain and stiffness.

See the images below for 4 travel exercises for lower back pain. We love to utilize these easy exercises when sitting on a plane or in a car for 3+ hours.

Also- don't forget those compression socks for long plane or car rides!

Man performing seated resisted hip flexion

Man performing lying down glute squeeze

Man performing seated pelvic tilt

Man performing seated piriformis stretch

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