Traveling by airplane can be stressful, especially with chronic pain. Between the waiting in airports and the nature of being on an airplane, there is quite a bit to prepare for. However, this doesn’t mean that traveling can’t be a pleasurable experience! With planning, a little excitement, and some support, you can experince pain-free airplane travel.
Here are 5 tricks to ensure you have pain-free airplane travel:
1. Contact the Airline
It may be a good idea to reach out to the airline you are using a few weeks before your trip. This gives you the opportunity to disclose if any medical attention is necessary, such as accessibility to a wheelchair or even early boarding. Airline attendants can also be made aware if you need assistance with carrying or stowing your luggage. It is also important to note that different airlines have different policies so getting in contact to be aware of the most up-to-date information is a great tool for preparing for your trip.
2. Come Prepared and Comfortable
You should be prepared for some of the unavoidable parts of airline travel. Some things to consider are wearing comfortable shoes and breathable clothing. While it is hard to tell if you will have to walk great distances, even with accommodations, the proper shoes are very important in preventing any excess pain. It is also a good idea to wear layers; that way, regardless of the temperature, you can be comfortable. Plus, you can use any extra layers as a pillow or support for your lower back!
3. Don’t Forget the Pain Relief Solutions and Hydration
Over-the-counter pain relief products are a flight essential. Having a small relief kit that contains a travel size topical pain relief lotion and OTC medication may come in handy. Even if you do not regularly take pain medications, having them available is valuable in the event that you experience pain during your flight. It is also very important to stay hydrated. If you are dehydrated, your tissues are more sensitive and in turn, more susceptible to pain. Carry all of your pain medications together in a clear Ziploc bag and keep them in the bag that will be with you at all times.
4. Move Around
Although being on a plane restricts you from moving around freely, there are still some ways to periodically stretch during your flight. Always remember, even 10 seconds of movement is better than staying in the same position for an extended period of time. Not moving stiffens your muscles and puts added stress on the body. Combat this by regularly adjusting your posture, standing up and walking the aisle, or doing light seated stretches during your flight.
5. Remember to Relax
Practicing relaxation techniques is arguably one of the most important tools of combating stress while in the air. The change in altitude and the hustle of traveling together can put stress on your body without you even knowing it. Try listening to soothing music, reading an enjoyable book, or focusing on your breathing. A nice way to relax your muscles and nerves is to inhale deeply, counting to five, exhale slowly, counting to eight. Try repeating this pattern of breathing ten times.
Hopefully these tips help you have pain-free airplane travels, or maybe they will provoke some ideas of your own!
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