The holiday season is upon us! With a bit of time off, many of us take this chance to go off jet setting around the world! One problem…. long flights crammed into economy class seats that are not super comfortable can have a detrimental effect on our low back and neck health. The last thing you need when arriving for your long awaited holiday is your musculoskeletal complaint giving you grief.

The good news is that there are many simple things you can do to reduce the likelihood of something flaring up:

1) Get up and go for a walk around the cabin every hour (hopefully you’re in the aisle seat)

– A 5 minute walk can help reduce joint stiffness and muscle tightness
– It will also increase circulation and help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) from developing

2) Purchase a good travel pillow

– Travel pillows help support the normal curves in your neck and therefore reduce stress that can be placed on these joints when stuck on a long flight
– They can also help you sleep better in a more comfortable position. We stock them at Pakenham Osteopathy!

3) If you’ve got low back pain, there are also great lumbar support cushions to help promote good posture

– A rolled up towel or jumper behind your back above your belt line can act as a suitable replacement to one of these

4) Stretch when you can

– Simple stretches while seated can help relieve tightness that may be building
– Try simple neck, shoulder, hip and calf stretches as per your osteopath’s advice

5) Stay hydrated

– Drinking plenty of water will not only help keep your joints and discs hydrated but it will also make you go to the toilet more, hence, getting up and moving more frequently (again, hopefully you’re in the aisle seat!)

6) Request an aisle seat!!

– Not only will this give you more room to move but your seat mate will not get so annoyed every time you go for a walk or to the toilet

Don’t let your back or neck pain stop you from travelling the world. By implementing these tips you’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the journey to what is going to be a well earned break!