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Home » Spine Conditions » Disc Protrusion » Tips to fly more comfortably with a cervical disc protrusion

Tips to fly more comfortably with a cervical disc protrusion

The term “disc protrusion” describes a spinal disc that has become damaged and is either bulging or has ruptured. Most often the result of gradual deterioration during the body’s natural aging process, disc protrusions are most common in the cervical spine (neck area) and lumbar spine (lower back area) because of the frequent bending and twisting these areas experience. A cervical disc protrusion can produce symptoms such as pain, numbness, muscle weakness and more when the affected disc comes in contact with the spinal cord or a nerve root. Symptoms can appear at the location of the damaged disc and can also radiate to the shoulders, upper back, arms and hands.

Traveling with neck pain

If you’ve been diagnosed with a cervical disc protrusion and you are concerned about managing your pain during an upcoming flight, here are some tips that may be helpful:

  1. Fill your prescriptions before your trip. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce your symptoms and make your trip more enjoyable.
  2. Bring a neck pillow. Even if you’re not trying to sleep, a neck pillow can provide valuable support and help keep your neck properly aligned.
  3. Stretch. Use stretches that have been approved by your physician to loosen the muscles in your neck and upper back before boarding your flight.
  4. Move around. Try not to stay in one position for too long during your flight. When permitted, move around to reduce stress on your spine.
  5. Use heat and ice. When you arrive at your destination, alternating hot and cold packs can help manage pain and inflammation.

Treating a cervical disc protrusion

Many individuals who are experiencing neck pain and other symptoms because of a protruding disc are able to find adequate relief through conservative treatments such as rest, light exercise and pain medications. In some cases, however, surgical treatment becomes a consideration if symptoms persist even after several weeks of attempting conservative therapies.

At USA Spine Care, we treat disc protrusions and other degenerative spinal conditions using minimally invasive spine surgery, which is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures.^ We can provide a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for one of our outpatient surgeries.

Contact USA Spine Care to learn more.

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