Tips to Avoid Back or Neck Pain on Long Haul Flights

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In order to travel to some of the most exotic destinations around the world, it is necessary to take long haul flights that can be six, eight or even fourteen hours long. Not only can these flights be tiring, but they can also lead to pain in your back or neck. If you are susceptible to these aches and pains during a flight, you could end up arriving at your destination tired and sore rather than rested and ready to explore. If you are planning a long haul flight for business or during a vacation in the future, use these five helpful holiday ideas for comfortable travel to avoid back and neck pain during the journey. Neck and Back pain can be terrible after a flight.

Strengthen Before the Flight
A lot of what causes back and neck pain over a long flight is that your spine has to compensate for weak muscles. Being forced into a cramped seat for hours on end can actually exhaust your muscles around the spine. Consider doing some basic strengthening exercises for a few weeks before your flight to prepare you. Pilates classes, free weights or just some basic core work at home will help strengthen your muscles and prepare you for a long distance flight without pain.

Adjust Your Seat and Position

How and where you sit can play a big role in the amount of back and neck pain you suffer on a long flight. Bring along an inflatable pillow for your neck so that you can have support for the duration of the flight. You might also want to roll up a blanket and place it behind your back for lumbar support. If your legs don’t support your weight when sitting you could also place a few books or your bag underneath your feet as some people find this to be more comfortable. A cushion and a nice seat on a plane can always help to alleviate back and neck pain.

Stand up and Stretch
On even the longest flights there is typically a few hours where you are allowed to get up from your seat on the plane. Use this time to stretch, take a walk along the aisle or just move around and get comfortable. Do a few quick movements that focus on your spine. This might include bringing your knees up toward your chest or bending over to touch your toes. Just a few minutes every hour or two can make a big difference in how you feel when you land at your final destination.

Avoid Heavy Lifting

Some people think that sitting in an uncomfortable seat for several hours is what causes their back and neck pain when in reality it is all the heavy lifting involved when carrying around a suitcase. Invest in a suitcase with wheels that can be pulled along rather than lifted. If you choose to bring your bag onto the plane, only do so if it light enough that you can lift it overhead and place it in the storage bins without hurting your back in the process. The same rule applies when you are lifting your bags from the carousel at baggage claim. Consider bringing along two smaller bags instead of one very heavy one.

Stay Hydrated

Whether you are flying first class to cheap villas on an exotic island or flying in economy for business travel, you might be tempted to indulge in a few alcoholic beverages on your flight. It is best to avoid any alcohol on your flight if you suffer from back or neck pain as dehydration can tend to make the pain worse. Instead, enjoy plenty of water during your flight and make an effort to stay hydrated before, during and after your arrival.

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