There are a lot of ways you can injure yourself when you travel – you can take a tumble on the ski slopes, burn your hand while roasting marshmallows on a campfire or get a sunburn after a week in the islands. You can also find yourself longing for your chiropractor in Lake Worth, FL, before you even arrive.
If you’re not careful, a plane trip can lead to pinched nerve pain, neck and back pain for Lake Wortharea residents flying the not-so-friendly skies. Lake Worth chiropractor Dr. Craig Selinger has some tips that will help keep you healthy when you fly.
“One – avoid the last aisle in the plane,” he says. “Those seats typically don’t recline back. It’s very uncomfortable and all that weight is on the L5/S1, the lower part of your spine. Also, they’re usually close to the bathroom, which isn’t a nice experience.”
Another great idea he says is to request a seat in the emergency exit row. “Usually you’ll get twice the amount of legroom. It’s easier to get up and it’s easier to stretch.”
If you can’t get the exit row (or, if you’re only 5’2” and you feel guilty denying someone taller all that lovely legroom), you can reserve an aisle seat. “If you sit in the aisle seat you’ll be able to get up, stretch and move around more,” says Dr. Selinger – who also offers acupuncture in Lake Worth.
The good doctor, known to some for his skill as a car accident chiropractor, also recommends that you drink lots of water. “When we fly, we dehydrate. If we drink lots of water, it will hydrate us and it will fight the effects of jetlag. Also, the cabin has almost no humidity, so drinking water will help our body adjust to that pressurized cabin,” he explains.
Dr. Selinger’s fifth tip is to use a lumbar support pillow. If you’re lucky enough to find one of the small pillows the airlines provide, that will work. To be on the safe side, you may want to bring one of your own. If you forgot to pack something and there are no available pillows on the plane, try rolling up a sweater or jacket and using that instead. Whatever you’re using, you’ll want to put it right in the small of your back, then Dr. Selinger says, “Sit back with your shoulders back and that will help preserve the natural curve in your lower back.”