Summer Travel

Jun 1, 2020

ProActive Physical Therapy

by ProActive Physical Therapy

The good news is that by following some simple summer travel tips, you can minimize the risk of suffering an injury so that you can fully enjoy your summer vacation.

Tip 1 – Lift Luggage Properly

The first step to safe travelling is to pack your luggage as light as possible; this will help to minimize the weight that you have to lift when transporting your luggage. When walking with luggage, use a cart whenever possible to avoid carrying weight unnecessarily. When lifting luggage, use a proper lifting technique which involves carrying the luggage as close to your body as possible and lifting with your legs as opposed to your back and avoiding twisting movements.

Tip 2 – Mind Your Posture

Whether sitting in your car or on an airplane, be mindful of your posture. Think about sitting tall with a lifted chest, relaxed shoulders and tucked and level chin. Adjust your seat to maximize comfort by positioning your seat to ensure that your back is supported and legs are relaxed, and use a back support if necessary.

Tip 3 – Take Breaks

If you’re driving, make frequent stops to get out of your car and stretch your legs and back. If you’re on an airplane, especially during a long flight, get out of your seat often and walk up and down the aisle. Further, while seated on an airplane, pump your ankles up and down to get blood flowing in your legs.

Tip 4 – Know the Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of DVT and PE can help to ensure timely medical intervention, which can help to reduce the severity of the condition. The most common symptoms of DVT include: swelling, unexplained pain or tenderness, skin warmth and redness in the affected extremity. DVT occurs most frequently in the lower leg and can feel like a calf muscle cramp initially. Not all patients with PE will have signs and symptoms of DVT. The most common signs and symptoms of PE include: breathing difficulty, irregular or fast heartbeat, chest discomfort or pain that is often worsened with deep breathing or coughing, anxiety, coughing blood, fainting or a feeling of light-headedness.

If a current or previous injury is preventing you from taking a relaxing summer vacation, you may benefit from a visit with your physical therapist, which often involves therapeutic massage, manual therapy, and muscle stimulation techniques, as well as learning how to perform stretching and strength training exercises correctly. A physical therapist typically guides the sessions in order to monitor your progress and ensure progression towards optimal healing. Undergoing a comprehensive physical examination by a physical therapist at ProActive Physical Therapy is one of the best ways to gain an understanding of how you can improve your optimal health. After your assessment, our physical therapist will create an individualized program that can help to improve your recovery time, and provide you with optimal health benefits.


1. Blood Clots and Travel: What You Need to Know | DVT/PE | NCBDDD | CDC. Cdcgov. 2016. Available at: Accessed April 18, 2016.

2. Cemal Y, Pusic A, Mehrara B. Preventative Measures for Lymphedema: Separating Fact from Fiction. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2011;213(4):543-551. doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2011.07.001.

3. Kuipers S, Cannegieter S, Middeldorp S, Robyn L, Büller H, Rosendaal F. The Absolute Risk of Venous Thrombosis after Air Travel: A Cohort Study of 8,755 Employees of International Organisations. PLoS Med. 2007;4(9):e290. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040290.

4. O’Donovan K, Bajd T, Grace P, O’Keeffe D, Lyons G. Preliminary Evaluation of Recommended Airline Exercises for Optimal Calf Muscle Pump Activity. EJVES Extra. 2006;12(1):1-

5. doi:10.1016/j.ejvsextra.2006.04.001.

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