back pain, flying, airline passenger

Quick Ways to Combat Back Pain While Flying

There’s no nice way to say it…Airplane seats are horrible! They weren’t designed with the human body in mind, they were designed to allow the airlines to cram more people in a given space. The typical “C” shaped economy seats lack appropriate support for the low back, neck and essentially every other part of the body so it’s no wonder why you have back pain during and after traveling.

So, short of getting a first class or business class ticket, how do you offset the inevitable discomfort of airline seats?

Get a stretch session in before you fly

10-15 minutes of stretching before you board makes a huge difference in how you feel during and after your flight. Focus on stretching your hips, low back, chest and shoulders.

Get an aisle seat

This allows you to stretch your legs out a little more and makes it easier to stand up and move a few times during your flight. Even better, get an exit row seat. On long flights the extra charge for “economy plus” seating is often worth it!

Pack your own pillow or back support

With airline seats being inherently uncomfortable, it’s necessary to pack your own small pillow or back support cushion. It’s really the only way to make the seat somewhat more supportive for your low back. If you forget to pack one, a rolled up jacket placed at your low back will work in a pinch.

Recline the seat

Reclining the back of the seat slightly (slowly and politely of course) helps to get you out of the flexed “C” shape which will keep your body much happier.

Move about the cabin

Get up, move around and stretch every 30 minutes or so when the seatbelt sign is off.

Use layover time to walk, stretch and fidget

If you’ve just spent 3 hours being forced to sit on a plane, don’t spend the hour and a half layover sitting at the gate slouched over your computer. Go for a walk, stand, stretch and get your body moving before your next flight!

The human body was designed for motion, not to be still for hours at a time. And these tips will help keep your body from hating you after you deplane!

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