Going anywhere long distance with sciatica may feel like a daunting task but we do have a few tips to help make the trip a little bit more bearable. Keep these three tips in mind when packing for a long drive or flight.

  1. Bring cold or hot packs

Those with sciatica are aware of the benefits of hot and cold therapy and no one wants an intense flare up when on vacation or making a trip for work. If you are flying, be aware of TSA standards – cold packs must be completely frozen in order to make it through security. Its recommended to bring along disposable packs just in case.

Cold packs are perfect for reducing inflammation and numbing the pain whereas heat will help to stretch the tissue and the warmth stimulates the nerves, which sends signals to the brain distracting it from the pain momentarily. For best results, alternate between hot and cold stimulation every 15 minutes.

  1. Make frequent stops

Since you are sitting while driving or flying, there is more stress on the lumbar region than if you are standing. Getting up to move around often can help alleviate the stress and reduce the risk of sciatic flare up.

If you are driving, account for extra stops in your travel time. Set your cruise control and adjust your seat for maximum comfort. Stop for additional breaks to walk and stretch in between stops for gas and food. If you are traveling by air, it can help to notify the crew in advance that you will need to move around the cabin more frequently.

  1. Travel lightly

Heavy luggage can provoke a sciatic flare up with the additional weight on your back. Try packing several small bags instead of one large bag. This will allow you to more easily distribute the weight. Another option, if you are able to, ship your luggage to your destination and you will be baggage free for your whole trip!