You spend a lot of time on airplanes. Hours in the cramped seats restrict your back and neck movement causing muscles to become tense and painful. Non-invasive back and neck pain treatment is available to help prevent the pain while flying. You can also do exercises during the flight to prevent tense muscles. Here is how you can prevent neck and back pain from disrupting your business trip.
Prepare Your Body for the Flight Experience
Physical therapy on your neck and back will help condition the muscles to be better able to support your body during the flight. Your doctor can order physical therapy to focus on two areas:
Range of motion - The therapist slowly moves your muscles through their normal range of motion to reduce stiffness and gain mobility. Muscle strength - Resistance exercises are used to build up your neck and back muscles to better support your head, neck and spine through a long flight.
If you are a regular flier, you may need regular physical therapy on your neck and back to keep the muscles in shape.
Start the Flight Limber
Make sure that your muscles are relaxed before you get on the plane. Schedule a back and neck massage the day before the flight. Relax any tense muscles before the flight, even if it means stopping into a massage kiosk at the airport. Getting on a plane with tense muscles sets you up for having neck or back pain when you land.
Exercise During the Flight
Sitting in one position for a flight that lasts several hours creates tension in your back and neck. If you don't move those muscles during the flight, you'll likely have pain when you land and get off the plane. Here are some of the exercises you can do while on the plane to keep your muscles relaxed on long flights.
These exercises are all done while sitting in your seat. Your seat belt can be on or off while exercising.
Stretching lower back muscles - Lift your left leg off of the floor and hold until you feel the muscles pull slightly in your back. Lower your left leg and repeat with the right leg.
Stretching middle and lower back muscles - Put your palms under your thighs and pull up slightly as you roll forward at your waist. Hold until you feel a slight pulling in your back. Roll back and arch your back slightly. Hold for a few seconds, relax and repeat.
Stretching upper back and neck muscles - With your hands in your lap, roll your shoulders forward and try to touch your chin to your chest. Hold until you feel the muscles begin to pull in your upper back and neck. Roll your shoulders back and arch your back. Hold for a few seconds, relax and repeat.
Stretching neck muscles - Place your left arm behind your back. Turn your head to the right and try to touch your chin to your right shoulder. Relax and face forward. Repeat with the right arm behind your back and by touching your chin to your left shoulder.
For more information about avoiding flight-related aches and pains, contact a doctor such as Isaacson Wayne MD.