Does back pain, prevent you from enjoying long flights? Medical conditions such back pain get worse due to sitting for a longer period of time. Constant sitting can cause pain from additional muscle strain.
Sometimes flights are unavoidable. Work, emergencies, and meeting with loved ones are some of the reasons one has to fly. So here are 5 simple yet very effective tips for flying back pain-free:
Move Around More
Sitting in the same position for a prolonged period can put a lot of stress on the lower back (lumbar spine). Get up and walk as much as you can to reduce the impact of this stress. Also, stretch your back every 20 to 30 minutes. The action may create confusion or some kind of threat to flight officials. To avoid the confusion, carry a doctor’s note. Also, let the crew know about your problem prior to boarding. Inform them that you will need to move around.
Smart Scheduling Helps
Book a flight at a time of day when the plane is less likely to be full. This helps when you need to get up and move around regularly. Moving and stretching often is easier with no one sitting next to you. Additionally, you can change sitting positions as needed. Retrieving the belongings from under the seat can be done without any twisting and straining of the lower back. Booking flights that arrive between 6 and 7 a.m. and 1 and 2 p.m. are the best option. These are likely to be less full.
Slouching is bad for your back. It adds stress to the spine. You can avoid this by carrying a back roll or requesting for extra pillows to put behind your back. This is very helpful in minimize slouching and prevent excess pressure on the lumbar spine. associated pain.
If you are on the shorter side, bring something to prop up your feet to keep your knees at a right angle. You may also want to splurge for a first-class or business-class seat.
Heat and/or Cold Therapy
Heat therapy is very helpful for tackling back pain. So follow this therapy when you first take your seat in the flight. It loosens up your muscles and decreases stiffness. Apply cold therapy after a few hours. It will help in relieving pain and inflammation, which results from sitting for long hours.
Carrying heating pads and ice packs to your flight may not be a good idea for security reasons. To avoid such issues, bring small plastic bags to fill ice at the airport. You may also buy disposable heat wraps. These deliver a very low level of heat over a period of several hours.
Occupy Your Mind
Specific imagery techniques are helpful in reducing lower back pain while flying. Mental anesthesia is one simple technique you can try. Start by picturing a dose of numbing injection being injected. Feel the anesthetic traveling down into your lower back. You may also imagine a cooling and soothing ice pack being placed into your lower back.