plane stiffness

Pain on the Plane

What’s that you say? You feel stiff and sore stepping off the plane after your flight? It’s no surprise given the minimal space and ill-fitting seat backs that are part and parcel of seemingly every airline. Only children seem to be immune to the kind of damage that accrues so quickly during a flight. So if your next vacation or work trip is taking you on a plane for more than an hour, make sure you exercise your right to stand up and stretch in the aisle! Here are some tips to make your next flight less burdensome for your back:

  • Stand up every 20 minutes: it may feel awkward or embarrassing at first, but it goes a long way toward breaking the tension that accumulates in your back. While you’re at it, keep your legs straight and bend over, reaching for your toes and hold this position for 20 seconds. 
  • Sit up straight and engage your core. You can do this by practicing leg lifts: keep your arms on the armrest, flex your core and lift your legs.
  • Roll your shoulders and stretch your neck: while the majority of acute pain may be felt in the lower back, the majority of tension and tightness is going to be felt in the neck and shoulders, which can also lead to pain. Easy simple stretches to be done from your seat are (gentle) neck twists, moving your neck from side to side, up and down. 

Finally, drink plenty of water. We promise you will come out on the other side feeling not quite so tight. The airplane is a brutal place for backs; we want to help you make it less so. Before you go on your next flight, check in at your Fremont chiropractor to ensure you have no pre-existing subluxation or muscular imbalance that could be contributing to pain on the plane. 

Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.



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