• Out of the Box Physio

Physio Tips for a Long Haul Flight


Our physio Chris is fresh off the plane from his holiday and boy was it a long flight. The 17 hour flight from Perth to London is one of the longest flights in the world. If you or anyone you know are going on a long haul flight anytime soon then read on as Chris shares some vital tips to make sure your flight does not end up leaving you too stiff and sore.

1. Compression socks

Investing in a good pair of compression socks will be money well spent. Not only are they a defence against deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but they also help to reduce swelling in the ankles that occurs at altitude due to the different cabin pressure.

2. Keep Moving

Having an aisle seat is ideal but even if you are not in an aisle get up and walk around the plane at least every 2-3 hours. Usually you can find a galley or section of aisle that opens up a little and this is a great place to stand up and do some calf raises, calf stretches and if possible some quad stretches. Even just a good old stretch out of the arms can help reduce stiffness. Again, the movement and the calf raises are a good thing to do to prevent DVT.

3. Neck Pillows

There are a lot of option on the market but a wrap-around neck pillow will allow you to get some sleep while maintaining a neutral neck position. This should help reduce neck pain and stiffness both during and after the flight.

4. Drink water

Make sure you are steady with your fluids as the pressurised cabins can result in dehydration. On planes it is easy not to drink, as you typically aren’t doing much and the temperature is often quite cool. Water is always the best form of hydration

5.Pack your trigger ball.

Sitting for such an extended period is going to cause stiffness pain. Once you get to your destination you can use your trigger ball to release tight muscles in the neck, shoulders, back and glutes. For less than the size of a tennis ball in your suitcase, you can have a portable massage tool wherever you are in the world.


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