How to avoid pain on a plane

Back Care

8 July 2019

While holidays can be great stress-relievers, the change from your normal routine and hours spent travelling can sometimes take a toll on your body. Here are some tips for surviving the sedentary hours to get to your dream location…

How can holidays or days out cause joint problems?

When you’re off relaxing or enjoying yourself at the beach or in the countryside, surely you’re looking after your health by taking time out?

While it’s true that getting away from the stresses and strains of everyday life  to unwind and do something you enjoy can provide a welcome boost to your mental health and wellbeing, it’s the change in activities and habits that can result in your joints suffering. For example, being more active than you would be at home, carrying heavy luggage or heading off the beaten track to visit local attractions can all take their toll on your joints.

“Even the trip to and from your destination can be hazardous, as prolonged periods of sitting on a plane, car or bus, together with short bursts of lugging heavy bags or equipment can be a recipe for problems,” says AXA Health physiologist, Sarah Kemp.

Looking after your muscles, bones and joints when travelling

When you’re travelling on long journeys, do what you can to look after yourself by following our tips for avoiding back pain on long car journeys and our handy graphic below, which shows how to prevent or manage back pain while flying.


Some common joint and muscle injuries and how to treat them

If you do experience plane pain, or any other muscle or joint pain or injury while you’re away from home, check out our guide to common injuries to help identify the problem and what you can do to help alleviate the pain and prevent symptoms getting worse.

If symptoms persist or you’re concerned that your injury is more serious than first thought, we’re here to support you wherever you are and whenever you need us.

You can find lots more useful information on conditions affecting your muscles, bones and joints and how to manage and treat your symptoms in our musculoskeletal centre. Or if you have a specific question or concern about any aspect of your or your family’s health, why not try our "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year, this free information service allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have. Simply submit your question online and we’ll get back to you with an answer.

And remember if you have health cover with AXA Health, you can speak to a qualified physiotherapist for help with any musculoskeletal problems as soon as symptoms occur, and without the need for a GP referral, through our Working Body service.

Further reading

Tips for avoiding back pain on long car journeys – AXA Health
Common joint and muscle injuries and how to treat them – AXA Health
Musculoskeletal centre – AXA Health
Working Body service – AXA Health

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