By: Active Sports Therapy
Summer is here and many people might be planning camping trips, hikes, and of course…ROAD TRIPS! If you suffer from back or neck pain, you might feel anxious or worried about a flare up during a road trip. Travelling for you might be just a little more complicated and stressful than it is for the next person.
If your hurdle is back pain after extended driving, then these tips are for you:
Be careful getting in and out of your car. Not everyone can flop right in and start driving. You may have to use the technique of turning so that your back is to the seat, legs close to the car and sitting down on the seat. (Your legs will still be out of the car at this point) Then put your knees together, brace your abdomen and pivot your body as a whole making sure you are not twisting or hunching over. This is a good best practice for anyone with back pain.
Sit up straight in your car and make sure that your back is aligned against the back of your seat. For some people, this might mean adding extra support such as a specialized cushion or pillow. Check in with your chiropractor to see what could be helpful for you. Also, if you typically carry your wallet in your back pocket, take it out so that you’re sitting evenly across your seat.
Get up and move! Sitting for a long period of time in a single position will lead to stiffness and possibly a muscle spasm. To avoid this, plan for stops. It might take you a little while longer to get where you are going, but stopping to stretch and move around at regular intervals will stimulate circulation, allow you to stretch, and help ensure you have an enjoyable vacation.
Pack an ice pack and a small towel to wrap up the ice pack and apply to sore areas which will reduce inflammation and help you to continue on your journey. You can also purchase ice packs that get cold in an instant from most pharmacies in the first-aid section. If you find that heat soothes your muscles, then you can purchase heating pads that plug into your lighter. If your car has seat warmers, you might find that turning them on from time to time is helpful for you.
Use your cruise! If you have cruise control, it’s a good idea to use it on the highway. This will allow you to have more time with both feet on the floor and your knees at a right angle. Because it’s important to support your body from the bottom up, planting your feet on the firm surface of the floor will be helpful on a long road trip.