Travel Tips for Stress-Less Holiday Travel

The holidays are a time to travel and visit loved ones. But the truth of the matter is, travel can be stressful not only on your body, but also your mind and your spine. We will give tips and tricks on how to keep your immune system, mind and body healthy during the holiday season. Whether you’re catching a flight, jumping on a train, or taking a road trip, keep these tips in mind for stress- less holiday travel.

Keep these tips in mind for stress- less holiday travel

Immune System

Don’t forget the Vitamins. Make sure you are taking vitamin D, vitamin C and multi-vitamin as well as Omega’s and a daily probiotic to keep your immune system in tip top shape during the holiday season.

Avoid setting your bags down in public restrooms. While you might think that the toilet is the germiest spot in the place, it’s actually the floors! Instead look for the hooks on the wall or door to hang your bags instead of setting them on the floor.

Wash your hands regularly…don’t forget the kids. Sounds like common sense, but it’s easy to forget when you’re on the move. Frequent hand washing will help reduce the amount of germs on your hands. Studies have shown that frequent hand washers have fewer cold and flu symptoms.

Watch sugar intake. It’s a celebratory time of the year, but it’s important to keep an eye on too many sweet treats. Just two cans of soda can weaken white blood cells’ ability to kill germs by 40 percent!

Keep your spine in line! Proper spinal alignment not only helps you feel fine, but also gives you an immune boost. Regular chiropractic adjustments can boost your immune system by 200%!!!!

Mental Health

*Take a moment to breathe* It can be easy to get a little stressed out during the holidays, especially if you are traveling. Deep breathing techniques can help slow heartbeat, stabilize blood pressure and circulate more oxygen throughout the body. Try some diaphragmatic breathing techniques (previously published blog) before you take off and land, which can help keep you feeling calm and relaxed.

Practice Gratitude. The holidays are about so much more than just presents. Be mindful of where you are and who you’re with, the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday. Stay present and relax in the company of the friends and family around you. If you stay present and feel grateful for the time you get to spend with friends and family- you’ll stress less.

Get enough Sleep– It can be hard to sleep in a different place if you are traveling for the holidays, but it is SO important so get 6-8 hours even during the holidays. Our bodies cells actually talk to each other and repair when you are sleeping. The holidays can be taxing if you are traveling, so you need to get enough to sleep to counter the extra stress.

Physical Health

ICE ICE BABY. Dreading a long flight due to back stiffness? Plan ahead and pack a gallon size zip-lock bag in your purse or carry on bag. Once you take flight and get settled the flight attendants will be around to offer beverages. Get your zip-lock-bag out and ask for ICE to put in the bag for your back. Using ice on the flight will reduce inflammation which will prevent post flight stiffness and soreness.

Bring your own pillow. If you’re flying or using public transportation, you can rest easy knowing your pillow is clean and ready to go. Also, if you’re staying at a friend or family members home, you can never really predict what someone else’s bed or couch is going to do to your back. An ergonomic pillow designed for better sleep posture can make a huge difference.

Don’t put things in your back pockets. If you’re sitting for a long period of time, keep posture in mind. Your wallet, cellphone or other devices stored in your pants pocket can cause unbalanced sitting posture, throwing off the alignment of your hips and spine. The sciatic nerve lives in that region and can become impinged if you are placing items on top of it and sitting for hours at a time.

Use a rolling suitcase. We know how heavy those suitcases can get around the holiday season. Don’t risk a lifting injury! Instead of carrying al that weight on one side of your body, while booking through the airport, try investing in a rolling suitcase if possible. A rolling suitcase can vastly increase your ease of travel and decreases your risk of injury.

Schedule a homecoming visit with your chiropractor Even if you take precautions, travel can be incredibly hard on the body. Fear not- we are here to help! When you return home, schedule an appointment with your chiropractor they’ll be able to address any travel-induced pain and discomfort you may have. It’s a great idea to stop in right before and after traveling for a spinal tune up.

If you need to get in to see us before the holiday season give us a call at 515-278-9678 to get scheduled today!

Yost Family Chiropractic can help keep you on your feet this winter season!

When winter weather arrives, it’s time to protect yourself from the hazards that can accompany the cold. Slips, trips, and falls are more frequent due to icy conditions. Back injuries from falling on ice are likely to occur. Need some help to avoid this or advice on what to do if it does happen- Yost Family Chiropractic can help!

How Common are Back Injuries From Falling On Ice?

According to the National Institutes of Health, back injuries from falling on ice were the most common fall related injury, outnumbering ankle, wrist or hip injuries. With statistics like that, avoiding falls becomes a top priority! Almost all back injuries involve strains of the deep muscles of the back. An acute injury refers to something that happens suddenly and gets better over time, whereas a chronic injury is a long-term condition. Following a fall, you should keep track of your pain level, because that if it goes above and beyond general aches and pains you may need imaging to rule out a fracture. The spine is a complex structure that provides both mobility and strength to your body. When there is an injury to the spine such as a fall, common activities such as bending, twisting or stretching often become painful.

According to the National Institutes of Health, back injuries from falling on ice were the most common fall related injury, outnumbering ankle, wrist or hip injuries.

What to do after falling on your back?

Most acute back injuries should get better within a few days. If the pain persists longer than that, you should be evaluated by your chiropractor or a physician right away. If you fall on your back and experience severe pain that makes breathing or standing difficult, you should have a thorough examination by a chiropractor immediately.  A thorough evaluation will reveal any specific structural problem like a misalignment or nerve irritation, which we can correct. Adjustments are used in conjunction with a basic exercise program focusing on stretching, strengthening, and conditioning of the back and leg muscles. For those who have risk factors like thinning of the bones or osteoporosis, a fall on ice might pose a serious threat. If you fit this category, use extreme caution when traveling outdoors in icy conditions.

Three Tips for Preventing Ice Related Falls

Implement the following tips for a safer winter:

  1. Wear appropriate footwear. Soles that are sturdy and grip the ground will give you stability.
  2. Keep sand or de-icer in your car for slippery parking lots or streets where you might have to park your car.
  3. Use caution, and slow down. Don’t hurry!
Wear appropriate footwear. Soles that are sturdy and grip the ground will give you stability.

Back Pain Injury From Falls; what to expect

Symptoms of back injury from falling involve pain. This can occur to varying degrees depending on the extent of the injury and can affect different parts of the spine. Back injuries from falling on ice commonly fall into one of two categories:

  1. Lower back injury. Lower back or tailbone injury occurs when falling backwards onto the backside. An injury to the tailbone can be quite painful and also be accompanied by swelling and bruising.
  2. Upper back or neck injury. This can be attributed to muscle or ligament strains that occur during a fall.
  3. Can have both- sometimes following a slip and fall you can have an increase in BOTH neck and lower back pain depending on the mechanism of injury during the fall itself.
Symptoms may include muscle aches, shooting or stabbing pains, pain that radiates down the legs, and limited flexibility of the back or neck.

Treatment Options for Back Injuries

Fortunately, you can take the above measures to prevent or relieve back pain episodes. If prevention fails, then chiropractic treatment and proper body mechanics often will heal your back and keep it functional. Here at Yost Family Chiropractic we not only treat the structure of the spine itself, but we also treat the soft tissue such as muscles and ligaments that surround the bones. We can’t promise that you will never have a slip or fall, but we can promise you faster healing afterwards! For more information call us today at 515-278-9678 to speak with our office or get a consultation scheduled with one of our doctors. You can even send us as email at info@yostfamilychiropractic.com