Planning on traveling over the holidays? Dr. Dan and Dr. Abbie have some great airline approved in-flight stretches you can do to avoid back and neck pain. Before we get into the exercises, let’s find out why sitting upright and being inactive for a long period of time is bad for you.

  1. Your lower back may not be supported because you’re slouching.
  2. Your legs are not positioned at the right angle when you sit in an airplane seat which can cause central blood vessels in your legs to be compressed.
  3. Muscles are often tense.
  4. Some studies have concluded that prolonged immobility may be a risk factor in the formation of blood clots in the legs, deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Here are some exercises you can do during a long flight according to Qantas Travel!

Ankle Circles
Lift feet off the floor. Draw a circle with the toes, simultaneously moving one foot clockwise and the other foot counterclockwise. Reverse circles. Rotate in each direction for 15 seconds. Repeat if desired.

Foot Pumps
Foot motion is in three stages.
1. Start with both heels on the floor and point feet upward as high as you can.
2. Put both feet flat on the floor.
3. Lift heels high, keeping balls of feet on the floor.
Repeat these three stages in a continuous motion and in 30-second intervals.

Knee Lifts
Lift leg with knee bent while contracting your thigh muscle. Alternate legs. Repeat 20 to 30 times for each leg.

Neck Roll
With shoulders relaxed, drop ear to shoulder and gently roll neck forward and back, holding each position about five seconds. Repeat five times.

Knee to Chest
Bend forward slightly. Clasp hands around the left knee and hug it to your chest. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds. Keeping hands around the knee, slowly let it down. Alternate legs. Repeat 10 times.

Forward Flex
With both feet on the floor and stomach held in, slowly bend forward and walk your hands down the front of your legs toward your ankles. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds and slowly sit back up.

Shoulder Roll
Hunch shoulders forward, then upward, then backward, and downward, using a gentle circular motion.

Check out the video below to see how each exercise is performed.

Where’s your next trip to? We want to hear! Comment below!

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