Sitting without BACK PAIN on an Airplane: TIPS!

My boys (Grant and Chase) and I had some fun trips this past summer!

We kinda splurged and went to both Maui AND the Bahamas. They were certified as scuba divers in March, and we had some diving to do!

Was worth it to have special time with them, as they're getting so old that I feel my tenure as schedule master ending. It was awesome, even if they were on their phones much of the time, even on a catamaran!


Airplanes can be terrible for people with back pain.

I have a few great ideas on how to ease that struggle if you'd like some tips.

Firstly, have you heard of the website

You put in your airplane model (found on the itinerary) and the seat you're in and it ranks it for how "good" that seat is. It'll tell you if your seat is limiting legroom, or has an AC vent blowing on it, or if it's got a wealth of EXTRA legroom. All the good stuff, check it out!


1. First thing, when you step in to sit down, make sure your hips are all the way back to the very back. Our mission is to get you sitting up, comfortably straight, with your back fully supported.

2. Get the airline pillow, or use your sweater and create a pillow that you put vertically behind your back. NOT in the lumbar area, but higher, along your spine, near your lower shoulder blades. If it's a sweater, make an upside down horse shoe shape and put that across your back and down the sides. Move it up or down so that you feel your neck isn't pushed forward. This should be comfortable, and hold you in an upright position. We're trying to avoid slumping forward. This will be even better when you can recline some.

3. Remember to stretch. The first stretch is to reach your hands up over your head and bend at the elbows, so you can grab the seat right behind your head. Hold there, (stretching your triceps), and tuck your chin. Let this stretch you. Fun for the people behind you too, to guess what you're up to.

4. Second stretch: the number 4. If you can get your leg up in this ridiculously small space- (don't get me started on that...) cross your legs so that your ankle is on your knee, lean forward. this opens the knee and the hip, and increases circulation.

5. Finally, tap your feet! Literally. This is great for circulation, and will be sure to make your neighbor feel like dancing with you.

6. Last tip, for us not-so-tall people, experiment with this. Put your feet onto something that allows you to have them planted firmly. You can step on your bag, or a thick book-- I will sometimes throw a pair of wedge sandals in my bag to wear on the plane to make my legs longer! If you have a back ache getting on the plane, this one is pretty important.

Happy Travels,

Dr. Rina

Is your Mattress ruining your life:

MATTRESS HACK! This is a great idea:

Having a war with your mattress? Recently I heard about, (and tried) this great new idea. 

It's true that flipping your mattress is like a breath of fresh air for your back. 

You get rid of body impressions and it feels brand new. 

If you haven't yet tried this, it's a great solution to uncomplicated morning back aches.

But sometimes you have a mattress that you can't flip! 

It was built to be one sided. 

What the heck. 

They say you can spin it 180 degrees, that's a good idea, but you may have already done that and like me both sides have body impressions 

Time for a new mattress? 

FIRST try this:

If you have an king size mattress, you can spin it 90 degrees. So basically turn it sideways..It works! I tried it. I feel like I just saved $1000, 

it's like a brand new mattress all over again. 

Lemme know how it goes.

Dr. Rina

PS Share this great life hack with friends, it's genius.

For an appointment, call 415 924-8089 or book online here.

Muscle knots, the mystery explained!

Have you ever found yourself begging a loved one for just five minutes of massage on a painful knot?

trigger point

The kind that only seems to feel better when someone is rubbing it?


That's called a trigger point, and I thought I'd take a few minutes to explain what it is and why you get them.  

trigger points

The problem is essentially lactic acid. The same kind that makes your legs sore after a big hike, or a new workout. 

Here one version of the story:

  • You sleep badly and wake up with a kink in your neck.

  • The brain senses that something is "off" near the spine, and kicks in a protective, guarding tightness of the muscles around that area- its job is to protect the spine at all costs.

  • The neck muscle is "on" for hours, becomes tight and sore, and is producing lactic acid just like any other muscle that is in a state of contraction (think: thighs after a big hike). The problem is this one has no rest, no time to recover. It's on full time.

  • The lactic acid builds up so much that the muscle is now in pain from the lactic acid more than the original kink in your neck! It's become its own problem. The body is trying to flush the acid away, but the muscle has become so tight that the capillaries are now constricted and blow flow is reduced.

  • Now the muscle is also suffering from "ischemia" from the tightened capillaries, which is the lack of fresh oxygen to the muscle, and this makes it even more painful. The brain continues to react by tightening more because this is its solution when it feels pain.. Protect! Silly brain!

  • Your mouth says to anyone that will listen, "Please press on that knot!" because instinctively you know it will help and it will! It helps because the pressure manually forces some of the lactic acid out of the knot, and it also creates increased blood flow- bringing new oxygen. You feel better, for a little bit.

  • The brain then interrupts this wonderful relief, and says, "Hey muscle, get back to work protecting that original, still vulnerable kink at C5, or wherever your body has gone out of alignment from sleeping badly, or too much time on the computer, or a million things we do every day. And you're back to square one. Booooo.

Now... here's how it hopefully goes next. 

  • Your hand picks up your phone and makes an appointment for an adjustment!

  • The chiro feels your neck and says sweetly and sympathetically, '"Oh no! This must be very painful." because she can feel the knot, and the subluxated vertebrae and knows exactly how bad this feels and knows exactly what to do.

  • She puts heat on it to increase circulation, calls in the world's best massage therapist to manually work out the lactic acid and relieve the knot, then the most important part- adjusts the offending "kink" out of your neck and-- voila! problem solved.

Well, at least that's how we do it at my office. :) Have a knot? Come in and let us fix it. We know exactly what to do. 

Know someone with a knot? Send them this blog entry, and have them mention it for 50% off their first visit. 

Happy to take good care of you, as always,

Dr. Rina

When is the last time YOU had a massage?

"Advice is like snow, the softer it falls

the longer it dwells upon 

and the deeper it sinks

into the mind."

 --Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Massage can be like that as well. 

The right massage therapist hitting the right trigger points doesn't need to "hurt" you to help you feel better.

 Deep tissue massage just means slow, long strokes, at the muscular level. 

The depth only goes as deep as the person can tolerate and still breathe regularly. 

Our excellent massage staff knows when to go deep, and when to work more gently.

They are all highly experienced, and trained in deep tissue and trigger point therapy, as well as Swedish and lymphatic massage. 

Relaxing like a spa might be, but highly therapeutic.

Mention this blog, or just use the coupon you received on your first visit for $20 off your first massage here at Tinozzi Chiropractic Studio.