Travel season is upon us, and if you are traveling by plane, there are some key things to remember to help you arrive at your destination back–pain free.
First, monitor your posture when walking through the terminal, and use a carry on with wheels if at all possible.
Consider wearing supportive shoes. Shoes that slip on and give no support are great when going through security, but not so much if you are walking long distances between terminals or running to catch your next flight.
Try to avoid walking with your back rotated while pulling your luggage, and focus on your seated posture during flight. Most planes do not have good lumbar support, so a lumbar cushion may help. Ask the flight attendant for a blanket to roll up that you can use to support your low back and to keep your spine in alignment. If you catnap, use a cervical pillow to help support your head while sleeping.
It’s also good to consider use of support socks for flights more than 2 hours to aid circulation and minimize leg swelling. Fluid retention in your legs can also contribute to back pain, as it can throw off your normal walking pattern. Circulation socks are fairly inexpensive, and can be found at local retailers.
Lastly, try frequent positional changes at least every 30 minutes to help eliminate an onset of pain in your back.
About The Author: Aimee Moore, PTA is a Physical Therapy Assistant in the Prairie Spine and Pain Institute’s Physical Therapy department. She works with our lead physical therapist to guide patients through the Prairie Spine and Pain Institute’s integrated care program. She utilizes a combination of hands on manual therapeutic techniques and a scientific approach to rehabilitative exercise.