Long road trips can be a lot of fun. You get to eat the best snacks, play games, find new music, and bond with the people you’re with. But a long road trip can instantly turn miserable if you suffer from back pain. If you have a long trip coming up, consider the following advice and see if it helps you out.
Tips for Road Trip Back Pain: Warm Up Before You Leave
Many who suffer from chronic back pain have found that warming up before a long car ride helps to alleviate their pain. Before you hop in the car, try stretching, going on a long walk, or practicing yoga. When you’re in the car, you can try using a heating pad (with power converter) or a long-lasting heat wrap. If you have a car with adjustable heated seats, set it at a low temperature.
Empty your pockets – including the wallet you may keep in your back pocket. Adjust your seat so you are in a comfortable, upright position. Do your best to sit up straight with your chin pulled back so the spine is in proper alignment. Even the smallest misalignment can cause major pain later on.
To sit in a car properly, you should make sure that your back is aligned against the back of your seat. For most people, this means adding extra support – such as a lumbar pillow – to the car seat. And when you’re in a pinch – a rolled-up jacket or scarf can do the job as well.
Schedule Regular Stops to Move Around
The key to surviving long road trips is by planning ahead. Sitting in one position for an extended period of time can tighten your back muscles. Meaning that pain and even muscle spasms could be in your traveling future. It’s a great idea to schedule stops every 30 to 60 minutes so you can walk around and stretch your lower back. This activity loosens your muscles and encourages blood circulation, bringing nutrients and oxygen to your lower back.
Another trick is to try adjusting the position of your seat every 15 to 20 minutes. Even the smallest of adjustments can help you find temporary relief.
Bring a Cold or Ice Pack
If you regularly suffer from back pain, a cold pack is a great travel buddy for you. Back pain is more often accompanied by inflammation. Utilizing a cold pack can reduce the inflammation and numb some of your soreness. Options include:
- Bring a cooler in the car with you and keep reusable ice packs in it. You can also make your own customizable ice packs at home and toss them in the cooler.
- Buy some instant ice packs at a pharmacy or general merchandise store. Keep them in the glove compartment in case you ever need them
- If you’re in a pinch, you can purchase ice and plastic bags on your trip—just make sure the bags are leak-free.
Regardless of which option you choose, remember to wrap the pack in a towel to avoid ice burn.
Support Your Back with Your Feet
Supporting your spine starts with bottom-up leverage from your feet. Your feet need to be placed on a firm surface to avoid transferring stress to your lower back. It is ideal to have your knees at a right angle. You may have to adjust your seat or use a footrest. If you are the driver and have the ability to use cruise control for a longer drive, you may want to do this to allow you to have both feet on the floor for periods of time.
Zock Chiropractic Road Trip Back Pain Treatment
Why suffer from back pain if you don’t have to? We know that dealing with chronic back pain can have a deep impact on your quality of life. And can keep you from doing all the things you love. Resolve to seek treatment for your pain when you need it. Remember, chiropractic care is a great addition to your wellness routine. Adjustments don’t just keep you healthy physically. Continual chiropractic care and holistic back pain treatment could also help you cope better with stress and strengthen your immune system! Make an appointment to schedule an introductory session and provide you with a happy and healthy 2019!
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.