November 13, 2016 2:32 am

FITNESS Travel By Chiropractor Kevin McCaleb Traveling can be a very stressful time for many of us, even if you’re traveling for vacation. Going somewhere new and away from one’s comfort zone can bring a certain level of anxiety, and anxiety affects our mental state in negative ways. When we live unaware, travel can also create some detrimental effects on our physical body, as well. Extended travel times, lugging heavy bags, and sleeping in subpar beds are just a few of the physical pitfalls one may encounter. Many of my patients travel on a regular basis. Consequently, I’m involved in a constant battle to keep their bodies structurally and posturally sound. Traveling (whether by land, sea, or air) often requires periods of prolonged sitting. Our bodies are not designed to be kept in a seated position for long stretches of time. Undoubtedly, the body begins to fatigue. The shoulders and head roll forward, stressing and straining muscles of the upper back and neck. However, the number one problem I see in my office with travelers is with the lower back. More specifically, a group of muscles known as the iliopsoas. The psoas portion of this muscle has fibrous attachments to the anterior aspect of all lumbar transverse processes and to the anteromedial aspects of all lumbar discs and bodies with the exception of the L5/S1 disc. The iliacus portion of this muscle originates from the upper ridge of the iliac fossa and merges with the psoas sharing a distal attachment on the lesser trochanter of the femur. What that means in layman’s terms is this muscle is long, and attached to a great deal of important stuff, like your legs, hips, and lower back. To add to the complications associated with an irritated psoas muscle is the fact that, in most of the population, the lumbar plexus (nerve bundle) runs through it. This means that possible nerve entrapment issues can occur when the muscle is irritated or inflamed. Sort of makes you want to rethink that vacation to Australia, right? It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are a variety of things you can do to help yourself. It’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to the body. Here are a few things you can do to keep your body right when traveling. Kevin’s Travel Tips: Start right away. If you’re on a flight, get up as soon as the seat belt sign goes off. Walk the aisle a bit. Try to do this every 35-45 minutes. Find a pool. Swimming is one of the best motion exercises/stretches you can do. Not just for the back, but the entire body. Roll it. Most all luggage bags today come with wheels. Try to avoid carrying heavy bags with your arms or shoulders. Stretch it. There are a plethora of stretches available to isolate the psoas muscle. Simply go onto youtube and do a search to find 2 or 3 that you prefer. Then do them when you wake up every morning. Treat yourself. Whatever you’re into, massage, chiropractic, yoga, pilates, acupuncture, dance, rolfing, meditation, find one and utilize it. Your body will thank you for it.]]>