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Traveling with Back Pain

By Sara Butler

Getting ready to go on a trip you’ve been planning for months or years can be exciting. Exploring new places and seeing new things is one of the greatest pleasures in life. But if you suffer from back pain, getting there may not be all that pleasurable. Here are a few of the recommendations from your chiropractor at The Joint to make getting to your vacation destination on a plane just a little bit easier.

The Problem with Airplane Travel

Would you believe that over 8 million people fly on an airplane every day? It may not be that hard to believe as you wind through airports and the throngs of people there with you. Navigating busy airports and sitting on a plane for long stretches of time can put a lot of stress on your body. If you deal with chronic back pain, then this can be a struggle for you. But don’t despair, because there are some tips that can help you to be better prepared for your next take off.

When You’re Planning

In the planning stages of your vacation you should:

  • Book off peak - Try to travel at off-peak times to avoid crowds and being sandwiched together with others on flights.
  • Plan layovers - Book flights with layovers if you can so you can have an opportunity to walk around and stretch out. This is especially important if you going to be taking really long flights.
  • Choose your seat wisely – If you can choose what seat you’ll be in on a flight, try for an aisle seat. This will give you the best access to get up and move around.

When You’re Boarding Your Flight

A few things to help keep your back safe when boarding include:

  • Be aware – You’re going to be in a small, confined space on a plane so pay special attention to your movements so you don’t hurt yourself when putting your carry on away.
  • Be mindful of your luggage lifting – When you’re putting your luggage away, lift it in steps, utilizing the seats around you. Try not to just take it from the floor to above your head, or you could make your back pain worse.
  • Don’t twist – It’s a small space, but try to pivot and not twist when you’re moving.

During the Flight

Now that you’re packed in like a sardine, make sure you: 

  • Watch your posture
  • Use your travel pillow for support
  • Get up and move if you can during the flight
  • Try some gentle stretches periodically

If you have big travel plans, make sure you discuss your back pain with your chiropractor before you go!

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

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