Wheelchairs: Mobility Options for You

Tips For Back Pain Relief For The Frequent Flier

You may dread getting on an airplane because the small seats and long flight aggravate your back pain. If you prepare yourself before the flight and take the right actions during the trip, you'll reach your destination comfortably. Here are some tips for getting to that business appointment without that nagging back pain.

Before The Flight

You may want to visit a chiropractor or a masseuse before your flight, since he or she can loosen up sore muscles and put the spine back into proper alignment. Check out http://www.wildingchiropractic.com for more information. Also, there are two important actions to take in the airport terminal before you get on the flight:

  • stay limber
  • keep hydrated

Walking around the terminal helps to keep the muscles from becoming tense. You also increase the circulation in your back, hips, and legs which reduces any inflammation in the back. Drink water before the flight to stay hydrated. Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol which can make you dehydrated. 

Settling Into Your Seat

When you're seated on the plane, ask for a pillow or blanket to place behind your lower back. The back support in airplane seats may not be enough to keep your back in a neutral position. If there is a gap between your lower back and you have to push it back to the seat, you'll have an aching back when you arrive at your destination.

Stretching Exercises on the Plane

During a long flight, try to walk up and down the aisle a few times to help stretch your back, leg, and hip muscles. Regardless of the length of the flight, do a few of the following stretching exercises each hour to keep your back from becoming tense. They can all be done while seated with your seat belt on or off.

Leg and lower back stretches - Lift both feet off of the floor and rotate your ankles, first in one direction, then the other.

Lower back stretches - Put your hands palms up under your thighs and pull up as you lean forward at your waist, arching your back slightly. Relax, then lean back at your waist until your back is arched slightly.

Middle back stretches - Rotate your shoulders forward as far as you can while leaning forward slightly at the waist. Reverse and roll the shoulders back while leaning back.

Upper back stretches - Place your right hand behind your back. Turn your head to the left and try to touch your left shoulder with your chin. Repeat with the left hand behind the back and touching your chin to the right shoulder.

By keeping hydrated and doing these stretching exercises, you prevent your back muscles from tensing up and becoming inflamed.