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Preventing Pain on a Plane

By Brandi Goodman 

Pain can set in promptly when you're traveling -- especially when you're squeezed into a small airplane seat. If you have any hope of preventing pain while on a plane, you're going to need to keep a few tips in mind. These will help you make the flight more manageable and help keep your back from aching so badly.

Stretch Before, During, and After Your Flight

While you're at the airport waiting for your plane to board, it's important that you take the time to stretch your body out well. Loosening your joints can prevent them from getting stiff so quickly once you sit for a while. 

You should also stretch during your flight if you can -- particularly if it's a long one. You can't expect to stay seated for hours and not feel any discomfort because of doing so. Lift your head toward the ceiling to help stretch your neck and back. Twist to one side and then the other carefully. Get up and walk to the bathroom periodically. At least attempt a few minor stretches while you can to prevent soreness. Then, stretch out even better once you've arrived to your destination.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is always advisable no matter what you're doing. Make sure you're staying hydrated on your flight with water -- not soda pop, juice, or alcohol. It will help keep your joints limber and prevent stiffness and discomfort.

Pack Lightly

Reaching above the seats to store your carry-on bag can be troublesome if it's particularly heavy or bulky. Lugging a heavy suitcase from the airport to your hotel can be equally painful. It's best to pack lightly so you don't have as much to lift or lug around. It will save you some backaches if you go easy on the number of items you bring. 

Utilize Lumbar and Neck Support Pillows

If you have a long flight and need to sleep, it's imperative that you bring along a good lumbar pillow and one for neck support. You shouldn't be slouching in your seat. It can lead to some serious back pain. Keep a small lumbar support pillow behind your lower back, and utilize a neck pillow made of foam to rest your head on. Skip the inflatable options that aren't as flexible as they should be for true comfort.

Your plane ride can be a much more enjoyable experience if you keep these tips in mind. You don't want to arrive for your vacation already feeling sore and exhausted. Do what you can to keep your back and body flexible and feeling good so you can start your trip off right. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gilbert, Ariz.

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