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Feeling Great: Three tips if flying with back pain

There are ways to avoid back pain when flying.
There are ways to avoid back pain when flying.

If you’re heading on holiday anytime soon – or making plans to do so – one of the things to consider is the effect that flying can have on your back.

Let me explain: Cramped leg room, uncomfortable seating and being confined to a small space all contribute to lower back pain during and after a flight.

And when a substantial 88% of people experience increased back pain following a flight, I wanted to share three simple tips that will help support your back and make travelling a lot more comfortable when jetting off on your holidays

First off, if you’re going on a long-haul flight – schedule your flights carefully. Flying is the most tricky part of travelling for many people with back pain; being shoehorned into a cramped seat for hours on end can leave you feeling crippled.

Some people like to minimise their time in the air by booking direct flights whenever possible, which also helps reduce the number of times you have to heave your carry-on into the overhead bin too!

So, if you’re on a long-haul flight, and you’re spending five-plus hours in the air, try to find a direct flight to minimise travel time and be sure to get up plenty of times, or stand at the back for most of it when your seatbelt sign is off.

This next tip might seem self-explanatory, but when we’re sat on a flight – how often do we get up and move?

Unless you sleep well on planes and plan to nod off for the entire flight, you’ll probably want to request an aisle seat for your journey.

This will allow you to stand up frequently and move around the cabin without disturbing your seat mates. Plus, sitting too long in the same position causes tightness and pain.

You can do some simple stretches in the back of the plane, and if you’re unable to get up, you can do some stretches in your seat such as neck rolls or raising your hands high above your head for a good stretch.

Next, are you taking a carry on case? If so, do your best to pack light.

Every extra item you squeeze into your case is one more thing you’ll have to hoist up into the overhead bin or drag through the airport.

Make it easier on yourself by packing less and checking-in any bags you know you won’t be able to lift easily over your head.

This same advice applies for when you reach your destination too – when you’re out exploring, take a small backpack that distributes weight evenly rather than using a shoulder bag that places unnecessary pressure on one side of your body.

If you must carry a single shoulder bag, switch it regularly from one side to the other throughout the day to make it easier on your body.

If you want more tips to ease back pain, you can download my free report that shows you ways to ease back pain naturally – it has some helpful exercises inside too which you can use on your holiday. Go here to get your copy and take it with you: www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain