Travelling with chronic pain

Travelling with chronic pain

Osteopaths, on the daily, see patients that suffer from chronic pain as a result of many medical conditions or injury that affects different areas of the body.

The NHS has classified chronic pain as any pain which is persistent for over 3 months. When chronic pain is present, the initial injury which has caused the pain has healed, but the pain that the body is experiencing is a lasting effect of the injury. This long-lasting pain can negatively alter your mobility, your mood, your ability to exercise, work, sleep and even perform simply daily tasks.

Chronic pain is an overwhelming nightmare that can be exhausting. Unfortunately, due to its complexity, there is no cure for it. However, manual treatments such as osteopathy can be used to help patients better manage their pain.

With the use of osteopathy, many patients have adjusted and adapted their lives to manage and minimise their pain, meaning that they can continue with their normal lives and those activities that they most enjoy, such as travelling.

Here are some tips for patients who travel while suffering with chronic pain:

If you travel via an aeroplane, try to remember the following:

  • Book and aisle seat so you can get up and move around when you need to.
  • Walk up and down the plane every 45-90 minutes and try and do some stretches when you’re standing up to help prevent muscle tightness, stiffness and cramping.
  • Try to book a flight which has a direct and easy route.I If you prefer the option, choose a layover for 24 hours to break up your journey if you are travelling a long distance, as this will prevent you from being cramped on a plane for long periods.

If you are going a on road trip, remember to:

  • Take a lumbar cushion for the car
  • Make sure to schedule plenty of rest stops where you get out of the car to stretch as this will prevent your body from cramping and becoming tight or stiff.
  • If you have room, take your own pillow from home to sleep with at night, as this may give you more comfort than those provided at your destination.

Other useful travel tips include:

  • Take a hot water bottle or reheatable wheat bag with you, or use a stick on heat pack to help relieve any discomfort.
  • Or take an instant ice pack if you prefer ice therapy.
  • Try to pack a portable, small and travel-friendly electronic massager or stretching tools to relieve any muscle pain and spasms.
  • Pack some magnesium in your toiletry bag for muscle spasms and tightness which may occur during long travel, or spending a lot of time on your feet when on holiday.
  • Pack only what you can comfortably carry so you are not straining on lifting/bending or carrying more than you can manage.
  • Pack comfortable shoes!
  • Plan an itinerary, so that you can pace yourself out on your trip. Doing too much in one go can cause pain and discomfort, which can ruin your holiday.
  • Remember to do the exercises and stretches that you may have been prescribed by your osteopath or doctor. It is important that you keep up with your exercise, as it is a useful tool for reliving tension, tightness/stiffness and pain from the body.


At OsteoVision, our practitioners are highly skilled in treating a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your symptoms, book an appointment, or require more information about chronic pain symptoms or the management of chronic pain.

Call:      03303 904 300


You can also book an appointment online at



St Kilda Osteopathy. 2020. Tips for Travelling with Chronic Pain from Melbourne Osteopath. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 18 December 2021].