If you are dreading a long-haul flight because you have a bad back or neck pain, this article should provide some useful information on what you can do to relieve those aches and pains.
Flying can aggravate back pain or neck pain for several reasons. Lower cabin pressure can impact on your joints and spinal discs, causing temporary expansion of tissue which can lead to pain and is an important contributor to pain from trapped nerves.
More important considerations when flying, however, are the movement of luggage through the airport and the time spent stationary when traveling. This last is the most important factor for most people.
It is important to remember that your journey does not start at the airport, but at home. This can explain why even a short flight can seemingly cause a disproportionate amount of trouble.
Getting your car set up correctly can save you lots of discomfort, and means you will arrive at the airport fresh and feeling at your best.
When you get to the airport you may be walking a reasonable distance, which is great for your spine. But most of this walking will be on exceptionally hard floors which causes shocks to enter into the lower back. Wearing shock absorbing shoes can help prevent this causing bruising and pain.
There can also be a lot of standing around at an airport. This is not going to cause any damage to your back, even if it is uncomfortable, so try not to feel anxious. Avoiding leaning on one leg can help minimise the strain of standing for a long time. Shifting around a little can also help, as can clenching and unclenching muscles.
When it comes to carting your luggage around, there are a number of things that can make this easier on top of using wheeled suitcases or trolleys, how you pick cases up being the most important. The right way of lifting can take some explaining and varies slightly from person to person, but if you tense your stomach muscles as you bend and lift, and try to bend at the hips you should protect your spine from the worst.
If you are towing a trolley or suitcase through the airport, try to swap hands at least every minute. The same applies if you are carrying a smaller case (this is in fact a great exercise!).