When you have a bad back or neck pain that lingers, the last thing you want to do is be stuck in one position with very little wiggle room for hours. Unfortunately, if you’re due to take a flight anytime soon, that’s exactly what you’ll be faced with.
Here are some tips and tricks that can help you be more comfortable if you’re flying with neck and back pain.
#1 Start Working On Your Back And Neck Strength Well Ahead Of Your Flight
Try and work on neck and back strengthening exercises to improve the strength, flexibility, and range of motion of these joints and muscles. It should help reduce the stiffness and discomfort in the lead-up to the flight and make your muscles less easily fatigued on board.
#2 Pack Back and Neck Support Cushions
Bring neck support pillows and cushions to support your lower back. If you’ve forgotten to pack them, you should be able to find some at the airport store. Alternatively, ask the cabin crew for an extra pillow or two if you need it.
#3 Book The Right Seat
Choose your seat carefully. Having more legroom can help tremendously with your comfort on the flight. Book seats in the bulkhead or emergency row seats(only if your back and neck pain won’t get in the way of performing duties needed of passengers seated in this row). Some airlines offer the option to book more spacious seats for a premium. If you don’t have these options by the time you book, choose an aisle seat so you can stretch your legs a little more even if they stick out into the aisle. This seat will also allow you to get up and move around easily without inconveniencing other passengers.
#4 Pack Light
Don’t overload your luggage, especially your carry-on. Pulling them or carrying them around will add more strain on your neck and back. Choose rolling luggage with smooth wheels rather than something that has to be carried.
#5 Inform The Airline and Ask For Help
If you have chronic neck and back pain that is more severe, be sure to inform the airline ahead of your flight of any additional facilities you may require including wheelchair services or special approvals for braces or supports that will need to clear security. Get assistance with your bags at check-in as well as on-board to get your things into the overhead storage.
#6 Watch Your Posture
Avoid slouching in your seat or hunching over your tray table. Be conscious of your posture and square your shoulders and keep your spine straight. Try and keep your feet flat on the ground with your knees level with your hips to reduce lower back pain. Place a bag below your feet if need be, to get the elevation right.
#7 Move Around
Get up and walk around. Change your position. If your flight isn’t too full, try and move to a seat with better legroom if yours doesn’t have enough. Walk the length of the aircraft every half hour or so if you can. Use these breaks to stretch in the area near the restroom or exits.
#8 Stretch Regularly On The Flight
Ask your physiotherapist or doctor to guide you through some exercises for the neck and back that you can do when you are on a flight. These will help avoid back pain after a long flight and keep you more comfortable during the journey.
#9 Carry Your Medication
Don’t forget to pack any medication that your doctor has prescribed for the pain along with its prescription. Keep a bottle of water handy to take the medicines when needed.
#10 Carry A Pain Relief Gel
When you’re mid-air and in pain, you need a solution that is quick, discreet, and effective. A back pain gel or pain relief remedy like Omnigel is just that. Simply apply a little of this pain relief gel to the affected area and feel the discomfort and pain wash away almost immediately. Omnigel also eases the stiffness and inflammation associated with neck and back pain giving you much-needed relief. On long-haul flights, you could apply this multiple times, as directed on the pack.
Make Omnigel part of your travel essentials kit so you'll never have to worry about suffering through back and neck pain the next time you take a flight! Omnigel is available at pharmacies offline and online.