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Airplane Traveling Tricks for a Better Back

By Randi Morse 

One of the last things you want to happen during your vacation getaway is to have to deal with back or neck pain caused by traveling. When you travel somewhere via automobile, it's easy to schedule stops that allow you to get out, walk around, and stretch. Traveling on an airplane, however, is another story entirely. It's not like you can ask the pilot to land the plane just so you can stretch, and we all know how difficult it is to walk around in those tiny aisles. The next time you plan a long flight, try using some of these tips to help reduce and avoid back and neck pain during your traveling. 

Neck Pillows 

Neck pillows may look a little silly, but when it comes right down to it, they are extremely helpful. If you're traveling without a neck pillow, you may be more likely to lean your head against the window of the plane, or against the shoulder of your traveling partner, in order to get some rest. This incorrect posture can lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort. A neck pillow helps to keep your neck straight while also allowing you to lean comfortably to one side or the other and rest. 


The whole point of a vacation is to relax, but it's often difficult to relax during the traveling part of the vacation. Busy crowds, rushing around, and exposure to all sorts of things can lead you to being so stressed that you tense your muscles. If you tense your back and neck muscles, you are very likely to experience pain. Figure out what helps you to relax and bring it with you during your flight. The more relaxed you get, the less you'll tense your muscles. 


Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter pain medication that helps reduce inflammation. If your neck or back is starting to hurt during the flight, taking some ibuprofen can help. If you have chronic problems with neck or back pain, try to make sure that you take the ibuprofen about an hour before your flight so that the medication has time to get in your system and relax your muscles. Always make sure that you pack your ibuprofen in your carry-on luggage, or in your purse or laptop bag, so that it is always easily accessible. 

Vacations should be fun, and you shouldn't have to worry about back or neck pain distracting from the enjoyment and relaxation that you have been looking forward to. If you remember to relax, take medication if necessary, and utilize accessories like neck pillows, you should land at your destination without a sore back or neck. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Diego, Calif.

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