Flying – How to avoid back pain!!


Its Summer!! Most of us will be jetting off to sunnier climes or having a well earned staycation!  However if you already suffer with back pain, flying can be quite a daunting prospect!

Back pain is one of the most common ailments there is, with millions of sufferers in the U.K. alone.  Travelling with back pain can make sitting on a flight or shifting a heavy suitcase feel like torture! However that doesn’t mean your back pain should prevent you from flying and enjoying yourself or from seeing the world!

Here are some tips that will hopefully reduce your pain when you travel and make travelling a fun experience:-

Choose your flights carefully!

Flying is the most difficult part of a trip for many back pain sufferers, being squeezed into a cramped economy-class seat for hours on end can leave you feeling pretty uncomfortable.  Consider booking an extra-leg-room seat for that added comfort – go on – you’re worth it!

Get up and move!

Unless you sleep well on planes, it might be an idea to book an isle seat, this allows you to stand up regularly and move around the cabin with minimal disruption to other passengers.

You can do some simple stretches at the back of the plane, making sure you don’t get in the way of the flight attendants! Often if you explain you have back pain, the flight attendants are usually more tolerant! If the seat belt sign is on and you can’t get up, do some simple neck stretches, shoulder rolls or raise your arms above you head as high as you can.

Pack Light!

Every extra item you put into your suitcase is one more thing you have to lift into the overhead locker or drag from your car to the airport!  Do your back a favour and put all heavy bags that you find difficult to lift in the hold.

Once you have arrived at your destination and you are out sightseeing, use a small back pack that distributes weight evenly rather than a shoulder bag that will burden one side of your body.  Tighten the back pack straps so that it is as close to your body as possible which will make the bag feel lighter.  If you must carry a shoulder bag, switch it regularly from one side to the other.

Check-Out your hotel prior to booking!

Many back pain sufferers find how they sleep has a big impact on how they feel – if you need a firm mattress or plenty of pillows so you can put one between your knees, check your hotel can accommodate you.

If you find handling luggage difficult make sure the hotel has an elevator or someone to help with your bags.

Don’t get stressed!

Some people find that stress makes their back pain worse, travel stress usually starts at the airport, making flying particularly stressful, so make sure you arrive in plenty of time for your flight.  Once on the plane settle in with your fave tunes or a lighthearted book or film.

Finally don’t cram too much into your trip, build in a little wiggle room so that you don’t feel rushed and will have time to rest if you have a flare up during your trip.

These are general guidelines only, they do not apply to all back problems and should not take the place of your Chiropractors advice.  We recommend speaking to your Chiropractor before travelling especially if your back pain is severe.

For more advice or to speak to a member of our team call Luton (01582) 579687 or Hitchin (01462) 420077 alternatively e-mail us on or



Peter Heale Chiropractor in Hitchin and LutonFrom the team at Heale's Chiropractic Clinics
Over 30 years of helping people in Hitchin and Luton and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

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