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