Are you planning on hitting the road for a long drive at some point in the near future? If you have done this before, you might be used to feeling a bit sore when you get out of the car. In particular, you may suffer significant discomfort in the lower area of your back.
Did you know that there are ways you can reduce back pain during and after driving? Take a look at a few important tips below, and remember to visit a local healthcare professional for tips on how to keep your back strong and healthy.
1. Think About the Seat Position
You might forget that you can adjust the position of the seat to match your body type and shape. Instead of adjusting your body to match the location of the seat, adjust the seat to match the location of your body. Make sure you are as comfortable as possible when the drive begins. Even if you are driving someone else’s car, don’t hesitate to adjust the seat. You can always put it back to where the owner had it when the drive is done.
2. Take Breaks from Time To Time
Even though you want to get to your destination as quickly as possible, you need to put safety first. This might mean taking breaks from time to time. It might not be enough to get out of the car when you pump gas. You might also need to stop and eat. When you do so, take a minute to walk around and get the blood flowing. This can help you not only stay awake behind the wheel but also keep your back loose and limber.
3. Consider Foot Position
If you don’t want to feel sore when you get out of the car, you need to have good posture. Even though this means sitting up straight, you should also think about the position of your feet. Make sure you plant your feet firmly on the ground. That way, your feet help support your body. If your feet are not flat on the ground, your back has to support the entirety of your body. This might be one of the reasons why you are sore when you get out of the car. Of course, make sure you aren’t pressing the pedal too hard! If you want to adjust the positions of your feet during your road trip, consider using cruise control to help you.
4. Keep the Car Warm
If you have a car with seat warmers, consider turning them up. A bit of heat can go a long way toward helping your back stay loose during the trip. If your car doesn’t have seat warmers, you can still turn up the temperature to remain comfortable. You might also want to place a warm towel behind your back as you drive. Even though the towel is going to cool off eventually, it is still better than nothing. You might also want to bring some ice packs for sore areas.
5. Always Stretch Before and During the Trip
Another reason why you might be feeling back pain is that your muscles, tendons, and ligaments get a bit tight. One of the ways you can fix this is by stretching. Take a few minutes to stretch before you get in the car. Even something as simple as bending over and touching your toes can help you loosen up. Then, when you stop for gas, take a few minutes to stretch at the gas pumps. That way, you’ll still feel loose and limber when you get to your final destination.
6. Consider Using a Lumbar Support Cushion
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to seats. Just because the seat is comfortable for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it is comfortable for you. Therefore, consider adding a lumbar support cushion to protect your lower back. Instead of having your hips fall into the crack between the bottom of the seat and the back of the seat, add a lumbar support cushion for some extra support. That way, you don’t feel sore when you get out of the car.
7. Think About the Car’s Suspension System
If the car shakes if you drive, you will feel the shocks every step of the way. Therefore, think about the car’s suspension system. There is only so much you can do about this, but if you get your car maintained on time, it might not shake as much. If you are in the market for a new car, take it out for a test drive before you purchase it. Make sure the car has a solid suspension system so you don’t feel the vibrations as you drive. If you have worn out parts, you may want to replace them.
8. Refuel Your Body and Your Car
Even though you are probably focused on your gas tank, you need to think about your internal fuel as well. When was the last time you ate? If you don’t give your body the nutrition it needs, your back will start to feel sore. Even if you aren’t engaging in physical activity, you still need to give your muscles enough nutrients to do their job. Stop for food from time to time. Make sure your body has the fuel it needs. You won’t feel as sore and tight when you get out of the car.
9. Make an Appointment with a Chiropractor
Finally, make an appointment with a chiropractor. If you have a road trip coming up, a chiropractor can take a look at your back and identify problems. For example, you might not realize that your vertebrae are out of alignment. Or, you might not notice that your discs are too close together. A chiropractor can adjust your back, helping you prevent back pain when you drive. If everything is in proper alignment, the individual parts of your back will have an easier time doing their jobs appropriately. Then, you might not feel sore when you reach your final destination.
Visit Doctor Wagner for Help with Lower Back Pain
If you are experiencing lower back pain, you should rely on a local healthcare professional who can help you. Dr. Wagner has a tremendous amount of experience helping people who suffer from back pain. With a few adjustments and manipulations, you can make sure your back is properly aligned. That way, you have the support you need for your next long trip. Contact us to make an appointment to learn more about how we can help you with your back pain!