Question: Does anyone have any tips for easing your back pain while on an airplane? I have a 10 hour flight to the states coming up with a few internal flights to go on top of that, and the thought of sitting that long and not being able to stretch is frightening. Yet, alone trying to maneuver in those seats!
Comment 1: I’ve heard that rolling up a towel and putting in the small of your back can help.
Comment 2: My sister bought my Mum an inflatable lumbar support, which she rates pretty highly as being light and compact to carry as well as effective. Apparently it’s part of a travel accessories range, so it should be pretty widely available. Always go for an aisle seat! That way you don’t have to disturb anyone to get up and stretch your legs. I’ve always stretched on long flights as much as possible – the space by the emergency exit doors is good for this. In the wake of all the publicity about DVT you shouldn’t get too many strange looks.
Comment 3: My Korean acupuncture therapist told me to stimulate the points corresponding to our shoulder/back. For shoulders: back of both hands – between the bones at the base of middle finger and ring finger. For lower back: About 1′ or 2′ down from the point described above towards the wrist, between the same bones. If you poke around this area with blunt tip of something (e.g. cap of biro) you find some points really hurts. He says that’s the point. I have had a 12 hr flight for going back to Japan this July, and he actually gave me tiny metal balls (about 1mm diameter) stuck to individual pieces of sticky tape so that I can stick them in place (Press hard…Ouch!) for about a day. I moved about a lot during the flight, so I am not sure how this device on its own contributed, but certainly the journey was better than I anticipated after doing all this.
Comment 4: http://www.shelterpub.com/_fitness/_stretching_in_the_office/online_stretches.html
They used to have airline stretches online, not anymore, but this might help anyway. I’m sure you can do some of this in your airplane seat. I try to get up and walk around a bit once in a while. Here’s some more tips I found through Google:
Comment 5: Thanks to everyone that answered my email about tips for flying. From the replies that I received: I need an inflatable lumbar support, or failing that a rolled up towel in the small of my back. An aisle seat, some 1mm metal balls on some sticky tape, for the back of my hands, which I have to say I tried on a long car journey recently and it seemed to lessen the pain. The sticky tape and the metal balls! Brilliant suggestion that was. And thanks for the URL’s on stretches. Although I imagine it is going to be getting up and moving around stretching as much as possible. I did make sure I have an aisle seat! Cheers everyone and Thanks again!
Comment 6: I’ve tried the towel thing, and yes, it does work! Or if you don’t want to take a towel with you, try a couple of the small airline pillows. Plus an NSAID before the trip – even an over the counter type like Nurofen Plus works.