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5 Ways to avoid Back Pain during Air Travel

Prevent back pain while flyingMaybe you travel for work. Maybe you travel for play. Either way, cramming onto a plane with hundreds of strangers can be stressful…and painful, particularly if you’re prone to back pain. These five tips will help you avoid that pain during air travel.

1. Heat it and cool it.

Every fifteen minutes, alternate between heat therapy and ice treatment. The heat will stretch the tissues around your spine and keep the brain from sending so many pesky pain signals. The cold, on the other hand, will help swelling and numb your back. Obviously, a plane ain’t no doctor’s office. Here’s the fix: bring several ThermaCare heat wraps–they’re inexpensive and disposable, and bring a Ziploc bag that you can have a flight attendant fill with ice.

2. Move.

The spine is meant to move. Every or hour or so during your flight, walk the length of the plane for a minute or two. If there’s a nook or cranny in the back, do a couple quick stretches. Avoid funny looks from the flight attendants by bringing a doctor’s note and alerting the airline crew of your back condition before you board.

3. Pop some pills.

Your doctor knows best. Ask which over-the-counter (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) or prescription (muscle relaxants or other narcotics) drugs are best for you. Security is often tight, so bring a letter from your doctor, and always keep the medicine in the original bottles.

4. Lose the baggage.

When it comes to luggage, cut proverbial corners as much as possible. First, pack light. Try this: after you’ve packed, go through your suitcase one last time and get rid of three things (or more!) that you can live without for a few days. Second, check your bags curbside, or have your travel companion (if able) handle your items. Lifting bags into the overhead bin is a tough task with a bad back.

5. Drink water.

An oft overlooked, but very basic, cause of pain is dehydration. Fluids in the body keep you cool, keep blood moving, keep the muscles limber and keep the tendons relaxed. And stick with only water. Coffee, tea, soda and alcohol counteract the hydrating effects of H20.

Vacations are fun. But far too often the travelling is not. With a little special care, you can stop the pain and enjoy your flight.

2 Comments to “5 Ways to avoid Back Pain during Air Travel”

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Advanced Physical Medicine is a multi-disciplinary wellness clinic that offers pain management and rehabilitation to patients in Chicagoland and beyond. When it comes to healthcare, APM utilizes a variety of different specialists including medical doctors, podiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors and neurosurgeons to make joint decisions regarding the best treatment for you. Each treatment plan is tailored specifically according to your needs. You see, at APM, we treat you as a person, and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today and experience the difference with APM. We look forward to talking to you.