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Travel Tips for Those Traveling with Lower Back Pain.

Travel Tips for Those Traveling with Lower Back Pain.
By Dr. Matthew McGowan


With upcoming holidays, camps, and summer vacations causing a spike in extended travel, we have been fielding a lot of questions on how to keep one’s back steady while traveling.  

If you are taking a long car trip and you suffer from low back pain, it would be a good idea to stop after 2 hours of driving if possible and do a quick 3 minute stretch.  The two most common stretches I suggest that can easily be done while stopping for gas or at a rest stop are the standing figure four stretch and the standing hip flexor stretch.  

For Air travel, you can follow the same guidelines allowing yourself to walk to the back of the plane near the restrooms where you can also do a hip flexor stretch or a standing figure 4 stretch.  Here are photos of both of these stretches:

Standing figure 4:  you can hold onto the side of the car with one hand, cross your ankle at your opposing knee and sit back and down until you feel a stretch across the butt on the side of the crossed leg.  Hold this stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds and do 3 per side. 


Standing hip flexor:   you can place your front foot up on a guardrail, a tire, or even inside the base of the car with a door open.  Before lunging forward it is important to contract the butt muscle on the trail leg and keep it squeezed as you lunge forward.  This will ensure you feel the stretch down the front of your trail leg and keep the lower back safe.  Hold this stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds and do 3 per side. 


  • For shorter intervals of driving or times when you cannot stop, it can also be a good idea to use the seat controls and change the position you are sitting in.  Varied seat positions will keep you from getting stiff in one continuous position.
  • If you are a person that deals with sciatica, you can place a folded beach towel on the seat so that it lifts the butt upwards and keeps the front part of the seat from digging into your sciatic nerve.  Also try to pick your foot up fully when going from gas break rather than just pivoting on the heel.  Leaving the heel down on the carpet and having the foot rotated out towards the gas pedal for long periods of time can irritate people with sciatica as well.  


While travel can be tough on people with low back issues, these tips or tricks can sometimes make it a bit more manageable. 

Healthy Travel

“Woohoo! It’s finally Summer. Bring on the travel!”
by Dr. Melissa & Jason

There is just something about a change of scenery that is so enchanting. Couple that with warmer temps, school is out and it’s time to bring on Summer travel!

That being said, travel often comes with it’s not so up side. Airports and airplanes aren’t the most enjoyable, sun filled, fresh aired spaces. Food is often not as healthy as it would be at home, stress of gearing up for travel AND being off routine are often enough to put a damper on our health goals.

When we decided to travel more for work and as a family a few years ago, we quickly realized this was going to take some intention setting in order to stay on point. We are proud to say that two years later, after a pretty intense travel schedule, we are thankfully still in a peak state of health.

Want to know our secrets?!

Here’s how we did it:

Fasting – travel days are often our fasting days. We don’t have to worry about plane snacks (except for the kiddos) or falling victim to not so epic airplane food choices or long lines.

Stay hydrated – we travel with electrolytes. I get ours on Amazon. We get the Ultimate travel packs for easy on the go hydration.

Limit blue light – I always wear blue light blockers while traveling. The airport, airplane and hotels are FULL of blue light that can impact our bodies ability to make melatonin, disrupting our sleep. This is especially crucial when traveling time zones or taking red eye flights.

BYOB – Bring your own bottle. I bring our own water bottles and mugs. Bottle is for staying hydrated and mug is for any warm beverage I’ll enjoy, which also is a bring your own versions.

Travel with your comforts – I bring my Four Sigmatic products with me. Their functional creamer is AMAZING for life on the road. | Use code: SONNERS10

I also travel with a bottle of Dry Farm Wines INCASE we are going to imbibe. We don’t drink so much anymore, but IF we do, this is our main go-to. Their wine has no pesticides, is sugar free, keto friendly, low alcohol and biodynamic/organic. You can get your first bottle for a penny. Click link here:

Binders – I always travel with charcoal as you just never know what can creep up and it’s also great for helping to buffer any toxins in food/environment. I take 2 capsules every night when we travel.

Supplements – we travel with an array of immune boosting supplements to help stay on point. You can find our recommended supplements for healthy travel in our Full Script link in bio. We take immune boosters, a nasal spray and a throat spray, always. To see our recommended healthy travel pack, check out our “FullScript” healthy travel link –

Grocery Haul – Whether we are staying in a hotel or in someone’s home we do a grocery haul and stock the fridge with some of our favorite things. Always focusing on protein and fat as our main macros.

Stay active and get in nature – We move our bodies every day. Sometimes we do a full on workout, other times we go for a walk, hike or run on the beach, we do mobilization and yoga or stretching as that is oh so nice after travel days and we spend as much time in nature as possible.

Lastly, our recovery when we get back (and often, before we head out as well)always includes getting adjusted, an IV and ideally- but not often, a catch up chillax day!

How are you staying healthy amidst your summer travel? We would love to know!

Drs. Melissa & Jason