Flying can be a real pain in the neck, in more ways than one. Sitting for long periods in a cramped chair and a stuffy environment can create and exacerbate pre-existing neck and back pain… and that’s nobody’s vision of happy travelling.
Luckily there are some very simple things that can reduce the chance of aggravating or triggering these conditions, allowing you to arrive at your long awaited tropical destination one happy traveller.
Keep on moving
Be sure to take regular walks up and down the aisles once it is safe to do so. This will keep your muscles working which will reduce the chance of spasms or uneven strain on your spine. Long periods of pressure on your spine will give you a world of pain both on holiday and in the longer-term. Setting a timer to get up and move every thirty minutes to one-hour could also break up your journey.
Stretch it out
This can start long before your flight, but is equally useful on-board. Practice gentle stretches such as Pilates or yoga to activate your thoracic spine whilst working out the damaging tension. And whilst there isn’t going to be room to go full-blown child’s pose on the plane, you will be able to perform some stretches in a quiet area which your body will absolutely thank you for on landing!
Pack your Kip Kit
It’s the job it was made to do. It is ergonomically engineered to provide optimum support for your chin, neck and spine, which will enable you to gently nod off to sleep, safe in the knowledge that you won’t wake up feeling stiff and uncomfortable like you usually do on a flight! It allows the muscles as the back of your neck to relax without your head lulling forwards and waking you up. Your cervical spine will thank you for this bit of kit!
Support your lower back
Ensure you have brought support for your lower back for the flight. Whilst airplane chairs aren’t known for their comfort, you can soup up your seat to make it more comfortable. A cushion could work fine, a specially designed tool would be even better. Providing lumbar support will keep your spine straight and help to stop you slouching – ultimately stopping pain in both your back and your neck.
If you suffer from chronic neck and back pain, then the chances are you will ultimately find it difficult to be comfortable in a confined space such as an airplane. So as well as taking the above preventative precautions, be sure to pack plenty of entertainment to divert your mind elsewhere. Books, magazines, music, movies, and games: it all works!
Bring hot and cold pain relievers
Disposable heat and ice pads are brilliant to ease that nagging pain that can develop on a long flight. Just be sure to check that they are in line with your individual airline’s hand luggage policy.
We hope you found these tips useful. If you would like more information on comfortable travelling, spine health or the Kip Kit, we’d be happy to help. Please get in touch.