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Coping with sciatica on long-haul flights

Coping with sciatica on long-haul flights

Sciatica pain can be difficult to cope with on a flight that just lasts an hour. On a flight that lasts twelve or more, it can be downright torture. Back pain of any kind is awful, but if you have a long-haul flight ahead of you there are some things you can do before and during the flight to make life more comfortable.

Before you fly

It’s wise to consult your doctor, if you’re receiving treatment, and inform them of the flight. They may be able to prescribe you with appropriate pain management medication, to manage any symptoms you encounter. If possible, book a seat that has the maximum possible legroom – any space you can have to stretch out your legs is invaluable. If you’re cramped, you’re almost certainly going to suffer from sciatica pain at some point during the flight.

Be sure your luggage is appropriate too. Your suitcases should be lightweight, and ideally, have wheels on them to prevent undue stress and strain on your back. Pay close attention to avoid straining your back if you have to put anything in an overhead storage compartment.

During the flight

Seating position is essential to a comfortable flight. Try and recline your seat if possible, to prevent you from sitting too far forward and putting pressure on your spinal discs. If you haven’t already, a long-haul flight is the perfect excuse to invest in a specialist sciatica pain relief cushion. It’s a long-term investment that will also help at home, on the train, in the car – wherever you choose to travel.

Movement is key, so as soon as you’re allowed to move about the plane you’re going to want to lightly exercise regularly. Make sure you take a stroll up and down the aisle at least once an hour, to keep your circulation healthy and prevent your sciatica pain from developing too strongly.

When you land, remember if you have to get any luggage out of the overhead storage to be particularly careful – if you’re stiff, you’re more prone to hurting yourself.

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