5 Tips for a Back Pain-Free Flight

Will airplane travel factor into your summer vacation? If so, you may be worried about how the flight will affect your back, especially if you suffer from lower back pain. After all, no one wants to spend their vacation recovering from the long plane ride!
The following tips can help you prepare for, and endure, a long plane ride so you can concentrate on your vacation instead of back pain.
1. Schedule smarter
If you can, schedule your flight for a time of day when the plane is less likely to be full. If no one is sitting next to you, you’ll be able to move and stretch more freely. Retrieving your luggage from the overhead compartment (or from under a seat) will be easier, too, since you won’t be as rushed and crowded during the off-boarding process.
2. Move around
As you probably know, sitting in the same position for extended periods of time can stress out your spine, leading to stiffness and pain. Get up and walk as often as you can by going to the restroom and doing gentle stretches like toe-raises to keep your body flexible.
3. Support yourself
Bring a lumbar pillow or back roll to put behind your lower back to keep your spine straight, which will prevent slouching in your seat. If you are short, also consider bringing something to prop up your feet to keep your knees at a right angle.
4. Keep cool
Cooling compresses can alleviate back pain, but gel packs can be difficult to carry in today’s heightened security check points. Instead, bring a couple of Ziploc baggies to fill with ice once you get on the plane. These should get through security easily, and then you can just discard the used baggies when you exit the plane.
5. Consider medication
If you regularly take medication for your back, be sure to pack plenty and take it before you take off. Even if you don’t have a prescription for your back pain, consider taking OTC pain killers or a prescription muscle relaxant to help you get through the flight. Ask Dr. Sharma for advice on medications you might wish to take for your upcoming trip.