Managing Back Pain on long flights
Back pain can get in the way of a restful flight if not managed well. For frequent fliers, especially, another long haul flight can wreak havoc on your already stressed back.
Here are five tips for you to manage that pain and get through the day. Of course, if your pain is chronic, you need to consult your doctor.
Providing support to your back: Using a pillow or a couple of blankets to the small of your back can provide a lot of relief by supporting the high stress area of the lower back.
Walking around: Sitting for prolonged periods can stress the spine and make your pain worse. Taking short, periodic walks up and down the aisle can be very restful for the back.
Watch your posture: If your legs are not positioned at a right angle when you sit in an airplane seat, ask for something (pillows, blankets) to prop up your feet and keep your knees at a right angle. Doing so keeps stress off the lower back.
Use a heating belt: Heat application can stretch the tissues around the spine and reduce the sending of pain signals for some time, allowing you to rest or fall asleep. A cycle of 15 - 30 minutes is recommended. SandPuppy Fitbelt has a built-in auto-mode which cycles heat in 20 minute cycles of on and turning off. It shuts off automatically after an hour.
Hydrate: Drink lots of water during your flight. The low pressure and humidity conditions on planes tend to dehydrate passengers. Getting dehydrated, especially if taking medication, is a problem for those with back, disc, and joint pain problems. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and colas, as they act as diuretics.