The Mighty Logo

9 Tips for Surviving Long-Haul Flights With Scoliosis

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

After two major surgeries, my curviness is still very prominent, but that hasn’t stopped me from traveling to a bucket list full of locations; about 23 countries (I think). With all my years of travel experience, I feel like I am pretty well-versed on how to travel with scoliosis, and I wanted to share my nine proven tips on how to survive those dreaded long-haul flights.

1. Always wear yoga pants – If for some reason, you’re thinking you should wear heels, skin-tight jeans, or anything else that’s completely impractical and uncomfortable, just don’t. When you have scoliosis, you want to always travel in the most comfortable and practical clothing possible. You will, more than likely, experience some level of pain throughout your trip, thus, you don’t want to be in pain and uncomfortable as well; it’s simply not a good idea.

2. Compression socks are friends, not enemies – Now, I know what you’re thinking, why would I ever travel in compression socks? Don’t be fooled by the romanticized idea of traveling in style; as I mentioned above, when you have scoliosis, you want to wear whatever is practical and comfortable. Trust me on this one; wearing your compression socks is the only way you should travel. Your body will thank me when you arrive.

3. Aspirin = lifesaver – I am not a doctor, but aspirin is a blood thinner, and taking one before you take off helps prevent things like blood clots and inflammation. Inflammation, I’m sure you’re aware, causes pain, and avoiding pain should be your only mission while on board a long-haul flight.

4. Drink water – Water is paramount to avoiding inflammation. So basically, if you want to try to avoid pain, you need to drink more water.

5. Booze is counterproductive – I know it’s hard to say no to a nightcap, but booze dehydrates your body, and so does air travel, and two negatives do not make a positive. Avoiding the cocktails on your flight may save you from a ton of pain later on. When push comes to shove, drink sparkling water; at least it has bubbles, right?

6. Stand up and stretch… often – You know those babies who run up and down the aisles when you’re trying to fall asleep? Be like one of those babies; they know what’s up. They realize they need to be moving, and honestly, so should you. When in doubt, stand up and stretch; your body will feel so much better when you arrive if you do.

7. Don’t be afraid to find whatever position works for you – I love sitting with my legs crossed, or having one leg underneath my tushy. It helps me keep my posture straight, and I feel so much better when I arrive. You know your body better than anyone else; find a position that works for you and stick to it.

8. Melatonin can be a good sleep aid – I am not a big fan of taking medications just for the sake of taking them, but sometimes you need to sleep, and melatonin provides a nice relief if you can’t sleep.

9. Get more pillows – I usually ask for a ton of pillows when I fly. I personally love having a pillow to sit on, a pillow behind my curve, a pillow underneath my neck, and a pillow I hold on to. Sounds pretty excessive, right? Wrong. Pillows will help you create a nice comfortable spot to fall asleep and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed instead of like a sloth.

Do you have any tips or tricks you use when you travel? Let me know what you do by commenting below. Also, side note: I am not a medical professional, so if you want to use any of my secrets, please consult your doctor before you do, just in case.

This post was originally published on The Curvy Spine.

 We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: January 18, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home