When you travel on an airplane, it’s typical to develop neck pain. Especially if you sit in an uncomfortable position for an extended time. However, some experience neck or back pain during or after flying. Therefore, here are some tips you can use during your next travel:

Carry over-the-counter medication

If you have chronic pain, before boarding a plane, you should carry over the counter medication. Painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation. However, if you experience neck pain before flying, consider taking these medications before your flight.

Use a travel neck-pillow

When flying, your posture can determine whether or not you will develop neck pain. For instance, leaning against the window or laying your head on the tray table is not a good position. Because your neck muscles will stiffen, thus, causing pain. To avoid this, you can carry a travel neck-pillow. And this will correct your posture and minimize the chances of developing neck pain.

Get up and walk around while flying

A top cause of neck pain is prolonged sitting with incorrect posture. Therefore, get up and walk around the plane when the pilot turns off the seat belt sign. And this will not only loosen your muscles but can also keep your neck in its right position.


Before you fly, you should engage in activities that will help you relax. Also, you can gather materials that will help you relax while on the plane. For instance, you can carry novels and magazines that will stimulate your mind. Alternatively, you can create a playlist to keep you occupied while on the plane to avoid sleeping during the flight.

Stretch out

If your neck is feeling stiff, you can loosen these muscles by stretching. However, you should only perform stretches that are approved by a physical therapist to avoid worsening your condition. Talk you a PT specialist about your neck issues and also ask for recommendations when flying.

Try a self-massage tool

You can carry a self-massage tool or use a tennis ball to massage your neck muscles during the flight. If the massage tool is battery operated, you should confirm with the airline whether such devices are allowed on the plane. This is advisable if you have a long flight, your neck is stiff, or you have extreme neck pain.

Apply heat / cold therapy

Heat therapy is known to reduce neck stiffness, thus, allowing your neck to heal. Cold therapy, on the other hand, performs the same function, although cold packs of ice are used instead of heat. If you are planning to use heat or cold therapy. It is also a good idea to plan ahead of time with the flight attendant in advance.

If you’re experiencing neck pain, it is also advisable you see a physician before flying. For neck pain relief, call us for a consultation, 888-409-8006.