General | April 28, 2023

Travelling With Low Back Pain?

Phillip Audley-OSTEOPATH-Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy) – RMIT

If you’re someone who travels frequently by plane, you may be all too familiar with the discomfort and pain that can come with sitting in cramped airplane seats for long periods of time. One common issue that many people experience while travelling on a plane is low back pain. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid or alleviate this pain, including seeking help from an osteopath. 

Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that focuses on improving the body’s overall function and mobility by manipulating the muscles, joints and soft tissues. Osteopathy can help manage low back pain by addressing the underlying causes of the pain, such as muscle tightness, joint dysfunction or poor posture. 

Here are some osteopathy-based tips for avoiding low back pain when travelling on a plane: 

  1. Stretch before and during the flight: Before you board the plane, take some time to stretch your legs and back. Once you’re on the plane, make sure to get up and stretch regularly, especially during longer flights. You can do simple stretches, like standing and reaching for the ceiling, or lunging forward and stretching your hamstrings. 
  1. Use a lumbar support: To avoid low back pain whilst travelling on a plane, it’s important to maintain good posture. Sitting in a cramped seat for long periods can cause the spine to curve unnaturally, leading to pain and discomfort. Consider using a lumbar roll or pillow to support your lower back whilst you’re sitting. 
  1. Move regularly: It’s important to move regularly during a flight to avoid low back pain. Get up and walk around the cabin every hour or so, or at least stretch your legs and back in your seat. Movement helps improve circulation and relieve pressure on the lower back. 
  1. Seek osteopathy treatment: If you have a history of low back pain or are experiencing pain whilst travelling on a plane, seek osteopathy treatment. An osteopath can perform a thorough evaluation to determine the root cause of your pain, and then develop a personalized treatment plan that may include manual therapy, exercise and lifestyle modifications. 

In conclusion, avoiding low back pain whilst travelling on a plane is possible with some simple osteopathy-based tips. Regular movement, proper posture and seeking osteopathy treatment can help prevent and manage low back pain. Remember to stretch, move and seek help if you experience persistent pain. Safe travels!


  1. “Osteopathy for Low Back Pain.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 23 July 2020.
  2. “How to Avoid Back Pain on a Plane.” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 1 August 2019.
  3. “Low Back Pain: Tips for Management and Prevention.” American Osteopathic Association.
  4. “Preventing Back Pain When Traveling.” American Chiropractic Association.
  5. “Traveling and Back Pain.” Spine-Health.