Flying can test our patience- physically and mentally. Whether you are travelling for work or pleasure, pesky pains can often present itself after a bout of flying. Those travelling with underlying injuries often experience an exacerbation by the time the wheels touch down. So whether you are in the air for 30 minutes or 30 hours, here are our tips and tricks to travel pain free.
1) Place your carry-on bags in the overhead bins when available. Don’t underestimate the importance of leg room, even if you are `comfortable’ with your bags near your feet. An increase leg room means you can straighten your legs in front of you, which can prevent knee pain from developing by lessening the pressure of the patella (knee cap) into the knee joint, all while improving circulation of the lower body. Still not satisfied? Pony up the extra leg room. Depending who you fly with, these seats can run anywhere from $20 to $40 dollars extra, and are typically located around the emergency exits, or in the front of the plane.
2) Find a reason to stand up. Use the restroom, grab something from the overhead bin, or sooth your crying infant by walking up and down the aisle. Moving around helps to break up the monotony of sitting in one position for too long which can lead to back pain and even injury.
3) Use that carry on U-shaped neck pillow as additional low back support instead. You can also use a rolled-up jacket and place it in the small of your back. Airplane seats are poorly designed for lumbar support, and they cause us to hunch forward. However, low back support will correct this, causing you to sit up higher with a neutral posture.
4) Consider compression socks to improve circulation. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities, and in some people, serious health conditions may develop- such as deep vein thrombosis which is better known as ‘blood clots’ often occurring in the legs. If you opted against using compression socks, try pumping the legs while you are sitting in your seat. Flexing the ankles and the toes, contracting the muscles of your calves, glutes and quads and hamstrings. These muscle contractions can help shuttle the deoxygenated blood in your legs back to your heart.
5) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Staying well hydrated during your flight can help to prevent your muscles from significantly tightening up or even spasming during mid-flight. Steady water intake will also help to flush out toxins out of the body. Lastly, it may even give you a reason to get up out of the seat and find the restroom.
Give us a call today so we can get you in before your journey!