Top 10 Easy Airline Travel Tips To Reduce Back Pain

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Perhaps you are excited about your vacations or you have an important business trip. You’ve already booked your tickets for the flight and are ready to go but what if we told you that there is something that can ruin your journey?

That something is back-pain. Back-pain is an extremely common problem that passengers face on flights.

Airline Travel Tips To Reduce Back Pain
Airline Travel Tips To Reduce Back Pain

Airline Travel Tips To Reduce Back Pain

It might have been already present or might develop in-flight. Whatever be the case, it can make your journey miserable. Lucky for you, however, there are many things you can do to reduce back pain and in this article, we are going to tell you the 10 best ways to reduce back pain during flights.

Let’s get straight into it-

1 Try to Have Regular Movement

Try to Have Regular Movement
Try to Have Regular Movement

Staying in one position for a long amount of time can put a lot of stress on your lower back (lumbar spine). To avoid the worst of this stress, you should get up to walk or stretch after short intervals of 20-30 minutes.

Since this might seem odd to fellow passengers or flight crew, you should talk to the cabin crew beforehand and inform them that you have a back problem and might need to move around. You can also go to the back of the plane so as to minimize disruption to other passengers and cabin crew.

2 Do Smart Scheduling

Do Smart Scheduling
Do Smart Scheduling

If you book your flight at such a time that the plane will be less likely to be full, you will get more opportunity to stand up and move around regularly.

What’s more, if there is no one sitting next to you, then you should be able to stretch much better and find increased freedom of movement and can change positions as you see fit.

Going on a less crowded flight will also make it easier for you to get your luggage from the seat in front of you without overexerting your lower back.

A quick back health tip- Flights that arrive between 6 to 7 a.m and 1 and 2 p.m are much less likely to be full.

3 Get Some Spinal Support

Get Some Spinal Support
Get Some Spinal Support

Another thing you can do to minimize pain is propping up yourself with extra pillows (easily available on demand) or a back roll so that slouching is minimized.

This bears results as there will be reduced stress on your lumbar spine thus leading to less back pain.

Keeping your knees at a right angle also helps with back pain so if you are on the shorter side, you could prop your feet up on the luggage or something you brought specifically for it.

Then there is the final option of splurging on a business class or a first class seat to travel in comfort.

4 Do Heat and/or Cold Therapy

Do Heat and Cold Therapy
Do Heat and Cold Therapy

Applying heat therapy when you first occupy your seat can help you with loosening your muscles and minimizing stiffness.

If you’re on a long flight, you can apply cold therapy after a few hours so that you can lessen the pain and inflammation caused by sitting in one place for too long.

How do you do this in the high-security environment of an airport?

All you have to do is bring some small empty plastic bags which you can fill with ice later in the airport.

Disposable heat wraps which deliver low-level heat over a long time will also serve you well.

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5 Use Mind Tricks

Use Mind Tricks
Use Mind Tricks

This is a pretty basic and easy solution for providing relief for your backaches. All you have to do is imagine some numbing anesthetic like Novocaine being injected into your lower back and you will feel better.

You can also use the imagery of a soothing pack of ice being placed on your lower back.

6 Request Your Doctor’s Help 

Request Your Doctor's Help
Request Your Doctor’s Help

Your doctor is the best specialist when it comes to your health.

  • Request your doctor to write a letter to the airline and flight crew regarding your medical issues. This will get you several amenities like extra pillows and cushions and the freedom to walk around. The airline might even upgrade you to business class or let you lie on the floor there if the problem gets too serious.
  • You can ask your doctor if they can prescribe you some medical drugs like narcotics or muscle relaxants so that you have a more pleasant flight.

7 Notify the Airline

You should inform the airline well beforehand that you have a medical issue. This will enable them to provide you with special services like-

  • Provide you with amenities like a wheelchair (if needed) and let you board early.
  • Have their personnel tow your luggage to the flight and even lift it onto the overhead cabin.
  • They can provide special shuttles and/or elevator platforms just for you.
  • If you have a transcutaneous electrical nerve simulation (TENS) unit, they can help you by giving you tips to get through security checks and traveling in general.
  • They can help you to get clearance for your non-medical assistant through boarding and security.

8 Bring Pain Medication with You

Bring Pain Medication with You
Bring Pain Medication with You

You can use over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (example Tylenol), Naproxen (Aleve) or Advil to help you be free from back pain during the flight.

Some tips for using medication while flying are-

  • Take your medication at least one hour before flying, this helps it get absorbed into your body so that you will have no pain while flying.
  • Put your medications in a clear plastic box and have them near you throughout the flight so that you can use them whenever needed.
  • Tell cabin crew that you are on medication so that they can help you if needed.

9 Try to Relax and Get Adequate Rest

Try to Relax and Get Adequate Rest
Try to Relax and Get Adequate Rest

A plus-point to long flights is that they provide you with more than enough time to relax and get rest.

Some tips for relaxing on your journey are-

  • Get comfortable! Use a neck or back support. Take some pain medication as needed and recline.
  • Breathe slowly (breathe in deeply, hold your breath for 5 seconds and then exhale gently, repeat 10 times) so as to relax your body.
  • Bring your earphones and listen to some soothing music of your choice.
  • Bring some reading material, preferably fiction to take your mind away from the back pain.

10 Have Good Posture

If you are not in business or first class, then airplane journeys might get a bit uncomfortable.

  • If you are tall with long legs, then request a seat near the exit or bulkhead as these usually have more leg room.
  • Always try to maintain your knees at a right angle. If you are not being able to do so naturally, then request something (maybe a pillow or a blanket) to prop your feet up.

These were our top 10 easy airline travel tips to reduce back pain, we hope you found the article useful and we wish you a happy and pain-free journey.

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