Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 27, 2015
Winter is coming, but there are still a few gorgeous fall weekends left on the calendar, which means there’s still time to squeeze in one last road trip with friends and family. Road trips can be a lot of fun, but for those who deal with chronic back pain, the thought of staying seated for hours on end can be scary. Today, we share a few tips to help prevent and combat back pain when you’re in the car. Here are four ways to help stop back pain from settling in on a long road trip.
Get Comfortable Immediately
If you don’t get comfortable in the car at the beginning of the road trip, you may find it difficult to find a comfy spot at any point. Let other people know that you’re dealing with back pain so you’re not stuck in the middle seat or with little leg room. Packing a blanket or rolled up towel can help you find a comfy spot more quickly, so plan ahead when you’re packing your bag.
In the days leading up to your trip, take a look at your prescriptions. If you’re running low, make sure you get a refill before you set off on your trip. If you run out of medication in the middle of your trip, you might find it difficult to get a refill at an out-of-state pharmacy. Failing to properly manage your meds can make for a very painful ride home.
Get Up And Move
You’re going to be stopping for meals, snacks and bathroom breaks, and it’s important to get out of the car and move around even if you don’t plan on heading into a store. Exercise and movement are great ways to strengthen your discs, ligaments and muscles in your back. At every stop, try to:
- Stretch your lower back, glutes and hamstrings
- Walk around to increase circulation
- Rotate your hips and shoulders
Ice, Heat and Wraps
Applying an ice pack, heat pad or back wrap can help control painful back flare-ups. If there’s room, try to pack a small cooler with a few ice packs, and throw your heat pad or back wrap in your bag. Heat can help increase bloodflow in your back, and ice can help control pain caused by inflammation. Compression belts can help provide support in areas of your back that are being overstressed.