With warmer weather right around the corner, there is likely to be a peak in travel at the local airports, and if you are one of the travelers embarking on a plane for vacation this season, you may want to take into consideration things that you could do on the plane to prevent or relieve back pain.
What may come as a surprise is the toll that flying can take on your back. Cramped legroom, uncomfortable seating, and being confined to a small space for long periods of time are several ingredients leading to back pain. A staggering 88% of people experience increased back pain following a flight. No one should have to endure back pain while they’re on vacation, so I thought I would give you a few helpful hints to help you eliminate this problem.
Back pain relief can start as early as the day when you schedule your flight. Trying to book a direct flight whenever possible will help shorten the amount of time in the air, as well as the number of times that you will have to lift your carry-on into the overhead bin. Also, try to make sure to get up plenty of times, or even stand at the back of the plane for most of the flight when your seat belt sign is off.
You may also want to plan for getting up and moving several times during your flight. Some of us may sleep well on planes and plan to doze for the entirety of the flight. However, if that’s not you, it may be beneficial to request an aisle seat for your trip. This will make it much easier for you to stand up and move easily around the cabin without disturbing your seatmates. Sitting too long in one position can cause tightness and pain, so being able to move and stretch more easily and frequently can be a huge benefit.
This leads right into my next tip. Make sure to do plenty of simple exercises at the back of the plane, or even in your seat if you are unable to get up. Try doing neck rolls or raising your hands high above your head to achieve a good stretch.
Also, if you are planning on taking on a carry-on, do your best to pack light. Any item you pack is one more thing that you will have to hoist over your head into the overhead bin or drag through the airport. For this reason, it’s important to pack light and check in any bags that you know you won’t be able to easily lift over your head.
This also applies during the remainder of your trip. Any time you go out or are exploring your destination, take a small backpack that distributes weight evenly as opposed to a shoulder bag that places an unnecessary amount of pressure on one side of your body. If you absolutely must carry a shoulder bag, switch it regularly from one side to the other throughout the day to reduce the stress placed on your body.
Let’s do our best to have a relaxing and pain-free trip this spring and summer season!
If you want more tips to ease back pain, you can download my free report that shows you ways to ease back pain naturally – it has some helpful exercises inside too which you can use on your holiday. Go here to get your copy and take it with you: www.restoreptllc.com/back-pain.
Oliver Patalinghug is the trusted health expert and founder of the Metro Detroit's Leading Specialist Private Practice Physical Therapy for people in their 40's, 50's and 60's who want to keep healthy and active.