Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Whether you’re planning on taking one last road trip before the snow hits or you just have some long drives in the future with Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, odds are you’ll be spending some extended time in the car in the near future. There are plenty of ways to make the time pass during a long car ride, but those minutes can feel like they’re crawling by if you’re dealing with chronic back pain. Today, we’re going to share five tips for alleviating back discomfort during a car ride.
If possible, try to get the optimum seat selection in the vehicle that best suits your back pain needs. For example, maybe the back seat will give you more room to stretch out, or if you’ve got a full car, ask if you can ride shotgun because you’re prone to painful flare-ups. Your fellow passengers will likely have no problem switching seats if it will help ease your back pain, so don’t be afraid to mention your pain when selecting a seat.
Before getting in the car, and every time you stop for gas or snacks, take a couple minutes to stretch your spine and other muscles. If you’re in the same position for a long time, blood flow to certain areas of your spine can become restricted. Get outside the car and reach your hands in the air, lean forward towards your toes, and do some trunk rotations. All these moves will help healthy blood reach vital areas of your spine, decreasing the likelihood of a painful flare-up.
Certain foods like junk food or fast food are high in fat or sugars, which can lead to the development of inflammation in your back. Certain conditions like bone spurs and pinched nerves can be exacerbated by inflammation in the spine. Before you embark on the road trip, and when you make a pit stop, try to find some healthy options full of vitamins and minerals that can help keep spinal inflammation at a minimum.
If you have a prescription for a spinal issue, make sure you don’t run out during your road trip. If you’re just going for a day or two this usually isn’t an issue, but if you’re traveling for multiple days or longer you’ll want to look in the bottle and make sure you have enough pills to get you through your stay. It can be difficult to get a prescription filled in a different town, especially during the holidays, so stay on top of your prescriptions in the days leading up to your road trip.
Pack Comfort Devices
I know people who will always wear a sweatshirt in the car or on a plane so that they can take it off and turn it into a makeshift pillow. Do the same when you’re packing for a road trip, or better yet, pack a pillow or a small towel that you can use as a neck or lower back support if discomfort starts to set in. Pack some soft devices that can help you get comfortable in the car, because we all know that staying seated for hours on end isn’t always the most relaxing. The more you do to help yourself get comfortable in the car, the less discomfort you’ll find along the way!