Don't Let Flying Be A Pain In The Back

If you fly a lot for your job, chronic back pain can make those trips miserable. A family medicine doctor, like those at Choice Medical Group, can give you some strong anti-inflammatory pain medications, but you'll still arrive at your destination stiff and sore. Keep your back limber and your muscles relaxed by doing a few in-flight exercises. You don't need to do sit-ups in the aisle. Here are a few exercises you can do in your own seat.

Slow, Gentle Repetitions are the Key

Do these exercises by easing into them slowly. Don't do sudden movements that jar your muscles. Repeat each one several times, but stop if you begin to feel pain or pulling in your back. Bring squeeze activated cool and warm packs with you on the plane. Use a warm pack for a few minutes on your back before the exercises and the cool pack after you are done.

Relaxing Neck Muscles

Muscles in your upper neck and spine become stiff after sitting in the seat for hours.

  1. lower your head and touch your chin to your chest
  2. roll your head clockwise in a circle slowly for a few iterations
  3. repeat with circles in the opposite direction

Relaxing Upper Back Muscles

The muscles along the upper spine become stiff if you sit slumped forward for long periods.

  1. place the back of your left hand in the center of your lower back
  2. turn your head to the right without moving your back
  3. touch your chin to your right shoulder
  4. hold for a few seconds then repeat with the right hand and left shoulder

Stretching Shoulder Muscles

These muscles also get sore when sitting slumped forward in the chair.

  1. sit up in your seat with your hands in your lap
  2. roll your shoulders as far forward as possible
  3. relax your shoulders, and then roll them back as far as you can

Stretching Lower Back Muscles

If you didn't bring lumber support for your seat with you, your lower back muscles will become tense after sitting for hours.

  1. put the palm of both hands under your thighs
  2. lift up on your thighs with your hands as you roll your neck and spine forward
  3. hold the position for a few seconds
  4. straighten out your back, and then roll back while arching your spine
  5. hold for a few seconds; then relax

Stretching Lower Back and Pelvis Muscles

Your lower back and pelvis muscles are under constant stress if you sit without moving your legs.

  1. tighten your right thigh muscle
  2. lift your right leg toward your chest
  3. move your leg as close to your chest as you can, and then slowly lower your leg and repeat with the left leg

This exercise can stretch your back muscles to the point of pain, so stop when you feel any painful pulling in your back.