Flying, holidays and bad backs and necks


In recent years the health issues surrounding long flights have come to the fore.

Here are some basic tips to help you enjoy a healthy holiday:-

  • Plan ahead - Consider the need for immunisations, self treatment first aid kits, insurance, bearing in mind your destination, age, and any underlying medical problems. If necessary consult your General Practitioner, or there is a travel clinic at Gilmour Piper 01473 217592. There may be a need for back or neck supports - Andrew Gilmour can advise you or visit
  • Seat Pitch - Minimum seat pitch (distance between seats) is currently 26in. Many airlines are responding to the pressure for more legroom. For the seat pitch league table, visit 
  • Priority boarding for tall travellers or back sufferers can be money well spent to gain the extra legroom
  • Pre flight - Stroll around the terminal, avoid heavy meals, moderate alcohol, tea and coffee 24hrs before flying. Wear loose, comfortable, clothing and supportive long socks. Use moisturiser to keep skin fresh.
  • During the flight - Light food, moderate alcohol, drink water (little and often) stretch arms and legs regularly and find reasons to leave your seat from time to time. Andrew Gilmour can supply  a 'lymgym' lower limb exerciser, proven to improve lower limb circulation.
  • When you land - Take a gentle stroll whilst waiting for your luggage. Use stairs rather than escalators. Whilst queueing rise up and down on the balls of your feet to exercise calf muscles. Relax with your feet up.
At your destination:-
When you arrive at your destination be aware that almost everything you do is different from your normal routine. The chairs you sit in, the bed, the pillows and your daily routine are all different and worthy of thought.
  • If the pillows are too low, use a folded towel underneath to raise and support your head and neck.
  • Beware swimming too much breast stroke, which can aggravate your neck. Break this up with some swimming, on your back with 'breast stroke' legs which flexes your neck.
  • Lying face down on a sun bed can stress your neck and back. Make sure you change position regularly or get up and walk.
  • A massage might seem like a good idea ensure the masseuris will qualified, and recommended, first. Overzealous massage can aggravate problems


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