Vale Health Clinic

Avoid Back Pain When Flying

Anyone who is a frequent flier will be quick to tell you that long-haul flights don’t do anything to help back aches and pains. They don’t have to be!

Cramped leg room, uncomfortable seating and being confined to a small space. These are all the aspects of long-haul flights which people dread. Especially when you already suffer from back pain.

All these factors can contribute to lower back pain during and after a flight. Holding any position for an extended period of time is sure to cause aches and pains. This can cause you to strain your muscles. This is only exacerbated when the position you’re in is a constricted space.

Did you know… that according to a survey by Spine Universe, an overwhelming 88% of people report experiencing increased back or neck pain after a flight.

Remember… If you are on a long-haul flight, it’s important to keep moving around. This can prevent muscles and joints from stiffening up.

How to reduce the risk of back and neck pain before your flight:

  • Keep up a regular exercise and stretching regime, particularly in the week before, so your muscles are as relaxed as possible prior to your flight
  • Pack lightly so you don’t have the added strain of carrying or lifting your luggage
  • Make sure you have ibuprofen or another form of pain medication in your carry on bag, ready to use if the pain becomes really uncomfortable

How to alleviate back pain during your flight:

  • Support your back and neck with small pillows or blanket throughout your flight. Also keep your knees and hips levels, as to reduce the stress on the lower part while you’re seated
  • Walk up and down the aisles, and use the spaces at the ends to stretch out your neck, back and legs
  • Stay hydrated! Keep drinking water throughout your flight to avoid dehydration, which in turn can cause joint stiffness and can make your journey more uncomfortable


Related Articles


Shockwave Therapy

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition that arises when the median nerve, which

Chronic neuropathic pain is a prevalent issue, affecting approximately 8% of adults in the UK.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a prevalent health issue affecting men globally, with significant psychological and

Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions