Except for emergencies or work, very few of us have been on an airplane since early 2020. Now that restrictions are being lifted, and the vaccine is readily available, air travel is back in full swing. So now is a good time to think about how to maintain your spinal health during air travel. Here are four tips.
#1 Take Frequent Breaks
Once the pilot turns off the seatbelt sign, take the first opportunity to get up and stretch. It’s better if you are not sitting for more than an hour or two at a time, so on long-haul flights, plan your bathroom breaks accordingly. Even if you don’t have to go, get up and take a short walk around the cabin if it is safe.
#2 Do Some Stretches
There isn’t a whole lot of free space on a plane, and you will have to comply if a flight attendant stops you. However, if you can, try to do some standing lumbar extensions in the aisle. They are quick and easy to do and will help to combat the hunched posture that plane passengers often assume due to the close quarters. To do a standing lumbar extension, stretch backward like you are going to go into a full bridge, but stop while you can still remain standing (you don’t want to touch the gross airplane floor).
#3 Use a Lumbar Support Pillow
The little pillow they give you on the plane is useless for sleeping, but it may provide a little much-needed lumbar support. Or you may be allowed to travel with your own lumbar support pillow. Be sure to check with the airline for what they currently allow you to bring on the flight.
#4 Use a Neck Pillow
There is no good way to protect your neck fully if you are sleeping on a plane. However, if you are taking a long flight and can’t afford the ridiculous prices for seats that fully recline, a quality neck pillow is your best option. Don’t settle for a $5 neck pillow, but you don’t have to spend $100 either. They are usually reasonably priced at $20-30.
Get Your Spine Back in Alignment
The most important thing to do is to see a chiropractor as soon as you get back from your trip, so any misalignments that occur are corrected ASAP. Ward Chiropractic & Rehabilitation in Fairfax, VA, can help. Contact us today at 703.672.1661, or you can request an appointment online.