Travel Effects on the Spine & Immune System

As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, it's important to be aware of the potential impact on your immune system and spinal health during air travel. Spending long hours on airplanes, confined to narrow seats, can lead to discomfort and misalignment of the spine.

The cramped conditions and lack of movement can contribute to muscle tension and stiffness, potentially affecting your overall well-being. 

Additionally, the recycled air and close proximity to other passengers increase the risk of exposure to germs and viruses, further compromising your immune system. 

Prioritizing self-care during and after your flight, such as staying hydrated, stretching, and scheduling a chiropractic adjustment, can help realign your spine, alleviate discomfort, and support your immune system's ability to stay strong. Remember, taking proactive steps to maintain your spinal health while traveling can make a significant difference in enjoying a healthy and vibrant summer journey.


What can you do to avoid back pain during a flight?

Pre-Trip Adjustment:

  • Make sure to get on the schedule for an adjustment before your upcoming vacation. That way your spine is aligned and has you feeling your absolute best.

  • If you struggle with your ears popping with the increase in altitude, being adjusted can drain that fluid behind your ears causing you that pressure and dizziness you may have experienced in the past!

  • Stress and tension relief by relaxing those muscles causing you discomfort

  • Being adjusted beforehand can enhance circulation making sure oxygen is reaching all parts of your body to improve blood flow.



  • Stretching before your flight is a huge step in preventing tight muscles that can contribute to back pain during air travel. Sitting in a confined space for extended periods can cause muscle stiffness and tension, particularly in the back and lower body.

  • Focus on stretches that target the back, hips, and legs, such as forward folds, hip openers, and calf raises. These exercises can help relive muscle tightness, improve posture, and reduce the likelihood of experiencing discomfort throughout your flight.

  • Incorporating stretching into your pre-flight routine is a simple yet effective way to prioritize your spinal health and enhance your overall travel experience



  • Staying properly hydrated before a flight is essential for preventing aches, pains, and lower back discomfort. Air travel can lead to dehydration due to the low humidity levels in the cabin, which can exacerbate muscle stiffness and increase the risk of cramps and discomfort.

  • Drinking plenty of water in the hours leading up to your flight can help keep your muscles and tissues hydrated by promoting better blood flow & nutrient delivery to the affected areas. 

  • Hydration supports the cushioning and lubrication of spinal discs, which can alleviate pressure on the lower back. Remember to continue drinking water during the flight and avoid excessive consumption of dehydrating beverages like caffeine or alcohol that could make the problem area worse. 

  • By prioritizing hydration, you can reduce the chances of developing aches, pains, and lower back discomfort, ensuring a more comfortable and enjoyable travel experience.


How to keep your Immune System well during travel:

  • Ensure that you're getting enough sleep prior to your trip, as sleep deprivation can weaken your immune response. It takes about 7 hours a night to feel completely well rested.

  • Drink plenty of water & consume immune-boosting foods, such as fruits and veggies. They can provide you the essential vitamins and minerals needed to support your immune system during the exciting times of travel.

  • By following these immune-supporting practices, you can be sure that your body is in its healthiest state and ready for an enjoyable travel experience. 


Final thoughts:

As you enjoy your summer travel, make sure to stay hydrated, stretch regularly, get enough rest, and nourish your body with all of those healthy foods. By prioritizing these simple steps, you can ensure a more comfortable & healthy travel experience supporting your well-being while creating lasting summer memories.

Lastly, below are some video examples on how to prevent back pain on an aircraft.

By using these helpful tips, your next travel adventure should be more enjoyable, comfortable, and worry-free, allowing you to focus on creating lasting memories and embracing the experiences that await you.