Back pain and stiff neck is a common problem while flying. The Travel Clinic and Department of Infectious Diseases at Singapore General Hospital shares tips on relieving the pain.
Back pain and stiff neck
Other than increasing your risk for deep vein thrombosis, sitting for long periods can also lead to back pain and stiff neck.
Most cases of neck and back pain can be managed with rest and light exercises. However, persistent neck and lower back pain should not be ignored as they may signal a slipped disc (herniated disc).
How to prevent back pain and stiff neck
Support your back and neck: You can prevent neck and back pain by using the pillow or blanket provided by the airline to support your lower back and neck. You may also consider investing in a travel cushion, especially if you like to sleep on the plane but often find yourself in an awkward body position after dozing off.
Adopt good posture: If you’re a frequent flyer, you can prevent back pain by sitting up straight instead of reclining your seat during the flight. This is especially true if you have an abnormal curvature in your spine, such as scoliosis. Sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed. Do ensure that your buttocks touch the back of your chair and your feet remain flat on the floor.
Improve your blood circulation: You should also get out of your seat to stretch at regular intervals as this helps relieve stiffness, including in your back. It also helps to wear comfortable, loosely fitting clothes.
Read on for more health hazards that affect frequent flyers and tips on how to prevent them.