1. Dan Johnson

    Hi, Thanks for such a detailed post.

    My step-dad is having back pain issues and he is traveling from Germany to Venezuela so we are thinking of booking him a business class tickets which is kinda too expensive (considering our current economy) but we know that he can sleep straight on his business class seat and have more comfortable journey.

    Can you please share your thoughts as to what other things he will need to take care of during, after or before flight. Especially what facilities he can ask from Airline people and what facilities he can use in the flight considering his current condition?


    • Thabo

      Hello Dan,

      First, let me send good wishes for your step-dad. On the issue that you have raised, I would start by booking him wheelchair assistance at the airport. Most airlines offer, contrary to what most people think, special assistance to air passengers with special needs if those needs are spelled out by a doctor. I think it would be a good idea if you obtained a letter from a doctor that defined clearly what your step-dad must have for a safe and happy trip.

  2. Tom

    Nice information, I always seem to find something useful on your website all the time! Just wanted to share this. I think sticky heat pads are also good, especially for an overnight flight.
    I ask for extra blankets and pillows and slot them into the gaps between the curve of my back and those awful seats and sort of wedge myself into a comfy position that means I don’t move around too much. My last two flights were 15 hours each and that really helped me.

    • Thabo

      Hi Tom,

      Those are great suggestions. Another thing that would be helpful is to drink plenty of water. As explained, in an earlier post, water helps hydrate muscles and that in turn lessens the chance of them going into spasms.

  3. R. Freeman

    I do not fly anymore. However, I have taken the occasional bus ride cross country and also, I frequently drive cross country. The luggage issue is a key thing. I have learned to pack lighter in order to not cause undue strain as I am already pretty miserable traveling. At least on the car trips, I can stop and get out and stretch, however, this is not the case on the bus. I am anemic and struggle to keep my iron at an optimum level. This creates stiffness and problems in my joints periodically. It is not fun for me to sit for prolonged periods of time. Nor is it fun to then get up and try to handle heavy luggage. Proper support pillows are a lifesaver! Great tips!

    • I think living a life of isolation is unfortunately what happens to a lot of people who suffer from chronic pain. Think about this. How tough would your life be if you couldn’t even walk from your bedroom to the kitchen without feeling the type of pain that could bring you to tears. Certainly, getting out to the world would be the last thing on your mind. Yet, it’s the very isolation that can make things worse. One can become depressed and that in turn can cause a toxic environment for the body making the condition worse. So, people with chronic pain may occasionally want to fly. However, they need to take steps that will keep them safe and provide for a happy trip.

  4. ProlificAshley

    Thanks for this wonderful post. It will be helpful in my next travel. I want to ask if I can share this post on my facebook page and other forum. Thanks once again.

    • Hi Ashley,
      As I said in the post, a pleasant trip starts with proper preparation, before you even get to the airport. Preparation begins with discussing things out with your doctor or physician as this is the best person to talk to before going on a trip. If you are suffering from any kind of back pain, it is important to first consult your doctor and discuss all health issues with your doctor. If one keeps this advise in mind, there’s no reason not to enjoy air travel even with back pain. Sure, go ahead share the post on your Facebook page.

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