a person sitting on a chair

Plane Travel Tips

March 03, 2020

Plane Travel Tips

Want to escape winter but dreading a painful plane flight?

Sitting for long periods in cramped quarters can be uncomfortable and cause joint pain. Try to focus on posture and movement to make your flight more comfortable.

The first key is posture. Support your lumbar spine by using a blanket or piece of clothing rolled up behind your low back. If you plan on sleeping, use a neck pillow. Wear shoes that you can slip off easily as your feet may swell. If you are using a device or reading a book, try to keep them at eye level to avoid looking down for long periods.

The second key is movement. You've likely heard the saying "motion is lotion". Your body's synovial fluid is the lotion that cushions and lubricates your joints. When you are sitting for long periods, the cartilage in your body absorbs synovial fluid. When you move, synovial fluid is squeezed out of the cartilage to cushion and lubricate your joints , and ease pain.

To keep moving on the plane try to perform some simple exercises every 20-30 min. Sit up and pinch your shoulder blades together, turn your head from side to side, lift your arms up over your head, twist your torso gently to each side. Pump your ankles up and down or roll them in circles, alternate lifting your knees toward your chest. If possible try to stand up or walk.


About The Author

About the Author

Tracy Keenoy, PT