Are you going to try and sneak in one more road trip before summer is over? Are you going to try and beat the crowds with a fall road trip? Maybe you just returned from a road trip, and your back is feeling it. This article will provide tips to help you prevent back pain when road tripping and provide suggestions on how to deal with any back pain that you experience during or after your trip.
The Position of Your Seat Matters
We often pay attention to posture when sitting at a desk, but that goes out the window when we are driving. For one thing, your hips should be at knee level. So be sure to raise your seat if the vehicle allows it. If your car seat doesn’t have the ability to move in that way, you will want to consider a cushion so you can sit a little higher.
Additionally, you don’t want to recline your seat more than 10 to 20 degrees. Also, making tiny changes in seat position along the way can help with blood flow and ensure the pressure isn’t constantly on the same part of your spine.
Make Sure You Have Plenty of Lumbar Support
Many modern cars will have extra lumbar support, at least for the driver and front seat passenger. However, if the seats are lacking in lower back support, there are also plenty of pillows designed to take care of this.
Take Frequent Breaks to Stretch
The biggest mistake people make on road trips is trying to get to the destination as soon as possible. If it’s a really long trip, set stopping points along the way and break up the drive. This will allow you to stop more frequently (no more than two hours between breaks) so you can get out of the car, stretch, and walk around a bit.
Use Alternating Ice and Heat
Ice and heat both play an essential role in healing. Ice controls inflammation, and this can help you with the pain. Heat increases blood flow, which is necessary for the healing process. However, you are going to want to alternate applying heat and cold to the area. The reason is that increased blood flow is also going to increase inflammation. So you use cold to reduce inflammation. Then you use heat to send more blood to the region to increase healing (even though it may result in more swelling). Then you alternate to keep the inflammation down while continuing to send blood to the area.
Get an Adjustment When You Get Back to Fairfax
After your trip, come and see us at Ward Chiropractic and Rehabilitation to ensure your spine is in proper alignment. Call 703.672.1661 today, or you can request your appointment online.