A lot of people enjoy the idea of taking a family road trip with during the holidays. And while the open road can be a great opportunity to relax and spend time with family, driving long distances can be very hard on your body. Long periods of sitting can quickly take a toll on your spine and lead to miserable back pain. This brings the question: how can I avoid back pain after a road trip?
Before hitting the open road remember POSTURE.
Put your body in a comfortable position and make sure that you have support. Adjusting your seat at around 100 degrees can prevent slouching. But at the same time you also want to see the dashboard gauges and the mirrors without having to turn your head. You also want to support the lower back curve, as this is going to be very important. The elbows and need to be bent at least a little bit, yet at the same time you have to stay close to the steering wheel.
Once you do that, make sure that you pack only what you need. Taking too many items can end up putting pressure on your back and which can lead to back strain. If you do have to lift any items out of the car, use your leg muscles and not your back.
Sit only as much as needed. You don’t necessarily have to be the only driver––someone riding along with you may be willing to help out. This is great because it lets you see the sights and enjoy some more time with your other family members or friends.
Taking a break once every hour is a very good idea. Walk around if you want to boost your circulation and get your muscles moving. The more you can exercise, the better it will be for you in the end.
Using cruise control is great because it allows you to put your feet on the floor rather than placing everything under stress in your body. There are times when you have to relax, otherwise the drive will lead to discomfort and even back pain.
Remove any items in your back pockets, because they can easily lead to back issues.
Emergency situations can appear, so making sure that you have a kit to help you with any issues can be a really good idea. Remember, safety first!
The idea is to fully take your time and focus on your posture and wellbeing. You need to be comfortable, so don’t avoid stopping every so often. Take breaks, relax and let your body recover. It will be well worth it if you do so! For more information on avoiding back pain contact The Migraine & Neurological Rehabilitation Center and schedule an appointment!