7 Tips to Prevent Back Pain After Flying

When the weather gets cold here in Upstate New York a lot of people take to flight. If you’re making travel arrangements, take a break in your planning to read these tips on how to prevent back pain after flying.

7 Tips to Prevent Back Pain and Flight, Back Pain after Flying, Traveling and back pain

See also: Back Pain While Driving

1. Strengthen your Core

If you have time before your flight, doing exercises to strengthen your core muscles can help prevent back pain after flying. Stronger core muscles reduce the stress on your spine and lower the potential for back pain.

2. “You Are Now Free to Move About the Cabin”

When the flight attendants give you the all clear to move about the cabin, do it. While it’s often not acceptable to stand in the aisles for long periods of time, you should make it a point to get up, stretch your legs, and move around periodically throughout the flight. Sitting, or staying stationary, for long periods of time puts stress on your spine.

3. Hot and Cold Therapy

Heat and ice therapy are two common recommendations for reducing back pain. In addition, some people alternate hot and cold treatments (called contrast therapy) though there is little scientific evidence that this is beneficial.

If hot or cold therapy reduced your back pain in the past, try these options while flying. There are several over the counter heat packs and patches you could use during your flight. Airport security may not allow you to bring ice packs onto the airplane but flight crew may be able to provide you one if you request it. If you’d like to use an ice pack during the flight it’s best to plan ahead and contact the airline regarding your options.

4. Anti Inflammatory Medication

Often, people use anti-inflammatory drugs for back pain. This treatment method could be used when flying. Prior to your flight, You should consult your doctor regarding your medication and what is most appropriate. Also, don’t forget to check with airline security to see if there are special requirements for bringing medication on the flight.

5. Airplane Lumbar Support to Prevent Back Pain After Flying

If you suffer from lower back pain, adequate lumbar support can reduce the strain on your lower back. There are many lumbar support pillows and products available, but putting a few extra pillows or towels behind your lower back can be just as effective. If you don’t have anything with you, ask a flight attendant for a few extra pillows for this purpose.

6. Adjust Your Travel Plans

If you’re able to adjust your travel time, try to schedule a flight that is not full. When a flight is busy or sold out there’s limited space for each passenger to stretch out. But, if you’re on a flight that’s not as busy, there’s more room for you to stretch out and move around.

7. Discuss Your Travel Plans with Your Doctor

If you’re headed out for a long flight and have a history of back problems, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may provide additional recommendations or provide you with a note for the flight crew about your back problems. While it’s hard to predict, the airline and/or crew may be able to provide you with additional accommodations for your situation.

If you’re getting ready for a vacation or traveling for work, try these tips to prevent back pain after flying. Then, enjoy your ride!


  1. https://www.spine-health.com/blog/9-quick-back-pain-tips-airplane-rides
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/expat-health/8373174/Long-haul-flights-can-be-a-real-pain-in-the-back.html
  3. https://www.painscience.com/bibliography.php
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