I wish it were an April Fools joke when I say I've slept 5 hours in the last 48. It's not. Whilst I'm now blissfully roasting like a spit chicken in the sun in Miami, the journey here was less than desirable. 

Pain free and child free in Miami

Pain free and child free in Miami

Like most normal people, my airport routine consists of some sort of overpriced toasted sandwich (beige snacks only please), followed by an airport size Toblerone (the one where each piece is the size of a small child). Wash this down with the cheap plonk they describe as "wine" on board and then I can embark on a blissful 10 hour mega nap and wake up 20 degrees warmer.

Except this didn't happen. One hour after take off, a child started screaming. You know, that back-arching, veins-popping-out-of-its-head-so-it-looks-like-it's-growing-horns sort of screaming. So for the next 9 hours, I was awake. And drunk.

Being awake + in economy (no rich boyf this week), = low back pain.

The National Institute of Healthcare and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has just told us all what I already knew - stop taking paracetamol for back pain. Exercise is the new meds. Specifically, stability and mobility exercises for the spine and abdominal area.

We most commonly experience lumbar discomfort when we are least free to exercise or move around. Like on a plane. My advice is always to stretch the back of the legs; gluts and hamstrings. It's immediate pain relief.

To do this in sitting, sit at the front of your chair, back straight. Cross your R ankle over your L knee so the leg is rotated outwards. Now lean forward with a straight spine until you feel a stretch in your tush. Hold for 30 secs and repeat on the other side.

Now extend your R leg in front and dig your heel into the floor. Lean forwards with a straight spine until you feel a pull down your hamstring. Repeat on the other leg.

If like me, you are not flying at the front of the plane and some sprog has spoilt your nap time, contact me here.

NICE guidelines for back pain here: