Vacation Precautions When Flying

We all look forward to a vacation, regardless of the circumstances. Whether we’re planning a trip to the beach or a visit to Aunt Marcella, anticipation runs high.  

To have the best time possible and come home in good shape, we’ve provided some guidelines to help you take care of your back and neck when you fly. Nothing will ruin a vacation faster than a neck, shoulder, or spine injury!


Don’t overpack

Of any single piece of advice we could offer, the choice to not overpack is the most valuable, and the most difficult to follow. Because we want our vacation to be the ultimate experience an unhampered by not ‘having enough,’ we tend to pack every single thing we can think of, spares and extras until our bags are bursting at the seams. But, we’d do well to remember that we have to carry that bag wherever we go, hoist it onto the checked luggage ramp, grab it off the carousel, and raise it onto the luggage rack or bed upon arrival. 

The backpack

Pack a backpack so it doesn’t give you back, neck, or shoulder strain. Make sure your backpack fits your height, weight and body type. A sporting goods store can help you with this. Put the heaviest items in the middle on your hips, the medium-weight items on top and sides, and the light items on the bottom, making sure the weight is even. Use all of the compartments and straps. Lift it with both hands using your knees instead of bending over. 


When you put the pack on, bend over slightly, so the weight settles appropriately. Use all of the straps, including any hip straps and chest straps. If you’re only taking a backpack, consider getting one that has ball-bearing wheels and rolls. Tighten the straps until it fits snugly. Balance is the key.


If you have a carry-on, make sure it has wheels or is light enough that you can carry it for hours without issue.  The reason backpacks became so popular is because carrying weight on one side of your body throws it out of alignment.  But, be careful, especially if you’re unused to hoisting weight around. Don’t take anything which is too heavy for you to put in the overhead compartment by yourself.

No rushing, please!

Airport escalators, moving sidewalks, security lines, and loading ramps are all potentially hazardous, but the danger is compounded if you’re in a big rush. You’d be surprised how easy it is to trip in any of these situations because it’s easy to become distracted in the excitement while trying to juggle your documents, luggage, and stay with your travel companions.

Keep these items with you:

Your travel documents (keep a copy in your cell phone photos of these and anything in your wallet)
Your electronics/chargers
A spare change of clothing/toothbrush
Money (split up what you have)

If you come home and have neck, back, or shoulder pain, come to see us.

When you’re injured in a car accident, there is no reason to delay treatment due to lack of insurance or while waiting for insurance approval. Here at Northeast Portland Chiropractic, we treat car accident cases with zero out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Call 503-493-9730.