Back Pain – How To Sleep Comfortably On A Plane

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With the combination of cramped space and other people packed in around you, it can be challenging to sleep on a plane at the best of times. If you have back pain, you might just think it’s impossible.  Here are some super effective strategies to help you get a good rest on your flight despite your back pain. 

Choose The Right Seat

Opting for an aisle seat will allow you to get up without inconveniencing your neighbors, letting you move around easily and stretch out your back muscles if they start to get stiff. Alternatively, a window seat might be the more comfortable option, as you can lean against the wall for support.

Bulkhead seats, the seats directly behind the walls that partition off different parts of the plane, sometimes have more legroom, which can help you stretch out and find a comfortable position. If you can afford it, upgrade to a seat with more legroom. As well as first or business class, some airlines also offer coach seats with extra legroom, which can be a much more affordable option than a full upgrade.

If applicable, you can ask your healthcare professional to write a letter to the airline, asking them to provide you with somewhere to lay flat and rest. 

Use Supportive Pillows

Bring a lumbar support pillow to place behind your lower back, or a neck pillow to avoid straining your spine. Alternatively, roll up a blanket or jacket to act as makeshift support.

Use Heat Or Cold Packs

Heat packs can relax tense muscles, while cold packs reduce inflammation. Consider bringing a disposable heat wrap or heat pad with you in your carry-on. You can also ask a flight attendant for an ice pack to reduce pain.

Sit Correctly

Keep your back straight and your feet flat on the floor, and never cross your legs. Adjust your seat to a comfortable recline angle that doesn’t exacerbate your pain. Using a footrest or propping up your feet can be helpful – some plane seats have a footrest, or you could use your carry-on bag.

Get Up And Move

Try to stand up and walk around the cabin roughly once every thirty minutes, as this can reduce stiffness and discomfort. You can discuss this with the cabin crew before takeoff to make sure it won’t be an issue for them. Additionally, gentle stretches or simply moving your legs while sitting in your seat can improve circulation and reduce pain. 

Use Relaxation Techniques

You can use relaxation techniques, like deep breathing or mindfulness meditation, to help ease tension and get you relaxed, allowing you to slip off into the land of dreams. Wear comfy clothing and an eye mask, plus a blanket and noise-canceling headphones. Thanks to these steps, your journey will be as restful and pain-free as possible.

The Scoliosis Reduction Center is focused on treating your scoliosis in the most patient-centered and effective manner possible.