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Bon Voyage To Muscle Aches & Pains: Expert Tips For Pain-Free Travel

According to a new national survey, almost half of all frequent travelers assume that discomfort and pain are an unavoidable part of their travel experience. That's not surprising since 1 out of 3 travelers report having stiff or sore muscles almost every time they travel. But there's good news: we've polled more than 1,000 frequent travelers to compile their tried and tested tips on how they keep muscle aches and pains from getting in the way of where they need to go.

  • KEEP ON MOVING! Sitting in the same position for long periods of time can cramp muscles and make joints sore. Whether taking a trip to the restroom or taking a stroll along the aisles of the plane, keeping your joints and muscles in motion every 1-2 hours will reduce the likelihood of cramping and soreness once you once arrive. When on the road, take advantage of frequent snack and bathroom breaks at rest stops to stretch the muscles of your legs and back.
  • TURN UP THE HEAT! Frequent travelers rated heat wraps as one of their favorite ways to cope with travel pain. Before you settle in for the long flight or car ride, put on a portable, air-activated heat wrap like ThermaCare on your pain-prone regions. The wraps stay warm for up to eight hours for soothing pain relief. ThermaCare comes in different sizes for the neck, arms, back and knees – so you can find the wrap that works best for your pain. Studies suggest that heat increases blood flow, which helps to decrease stiffness, relax sore muscles and provide soothing comfort.
  • HANG LOOSE! Airline seats and car seats are cramped enough, so you don't need stiff jeans or tight constricting shirts to make it worse! When possible, wear comfortable shoes and loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics (100% cotton is the best) when taking long trips. If you have a meeting or work event to attend immediately after arrival, it may be worth the extra comfort to hop into a restroom for a quick wardrobe change after you reach your destination.
  • QUENCH YOUR THIRST! Almost 60% of frequent travelers recommend drinking water to relieve stiffness or soreness while traveling. Stuffy, dry and re-circulated air on planes can leave your body dehydrated and make you prone to headaches and muscle aches. Keep a bottle of water or juice handy and drink frequently.
  • GET YOUR ZZZ'S! Most frequent travelers (57%) complain that pain and discomfort prevents them for sleeping while traveling. Their advice? Bring your own pillow! There's no quicker way to a stiff neck than sleeping upright without neck support or worse, with those flat, foamy airline pillows. Carry-on travel neck pillows can provide much-needed neck support on cramped flights. On the road, drivers should try a lumbar (lower back) support pillow to avoid back strain, while passengers can re-create their own bedroom experience by bringing along their standard-sized pillow from home.
  • KEEP TO A TWO DRINK MINIMUM! Complimentary alcoholic beverages may be tempting, especially for long flights, but too much alcohol can leave you with headaches and dehydration. That's why the frequent travelers we surveyed report limiting alcohol consumption as one of the ways to help relieve travel-related aches and pains.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. WTA does not assume any responsibility or liability for events that occur due to actions you or others on your behalf take based on the information given. You are proceeding at your own risk.