“Travel Toes” and “Bucket Seat Back”

Are you traveling for Spring Break?  Planning to visit family over the holidays or out to “see the world?”  Traveling by car or plane translates into sitting in a cramped space for possibly an extended period of time.  One common travel consequence is swelling of the lower legs.  Try these simple exercises to keep your legs happy and fluids flowing.draw1.jpgAlternately lift your toes up then heels up, in a pumping motion. (The effect can be enhanced by your favorite tunes.)  Try 10-20 times every hour, more often if you feel your shoes getting tight.draw2.jpgdraw3.jpgIf your feet are still bigger when you arrive than when you left on your trip, take a break and raise them high.  Your feet should be higher than your heart, repeat the pumping motion with your feet as described above.draw4.jpgOne other common travel consequence is back pain, or as we like to call it: “Bucket Seat Back.”  Change your position while you are seated, use a small pillow or rolled towel as a lumbar support, and stand up and stretch your back every 30 minutes.Happy Travels!Susan Gordon, PT and Jen Millington, SPT

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