A road trip is the easiest and cheapest way to make a family vacation happen, especially for a larger family where the price of individual flights can add up fast. The problem is, a car trip takes a lot longer. If you have a bad back, this can lead to a week’s worth of back pain and agony. You don’t want to spend your whole vacation struggling to find back pain relief, so here are some great ways to keep that back pain away.
First, make the car itself as comfortable as possible. Sit up straight, rather than slumping over. You can bring a small cushion or pillow to help support your back. Place it on your back around your ribcage area for proper support. Adjust your headrest so you can lean back against it and let your neck muscles just relax. This may not feel like a natural sitting position at first, but it will keep you from straining your back or neck while on a long trip.
Whenever you stop, get out and take that opportunity to do some lower back stretches and simple therapy exercise. You can place your hands on your lower back and very gentle lean back, stretching slightly farther every time you do this. Try the rotational touch, where you cross your hands over your chest and, keeping your hips facing forward and your feet on the floor, twist to the left until you feel some tension in your lower back. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then return to your normal position and twist the other way. Toe touches are also great simple exercises for stretching your back.
If you are still have back pain after you’ve made sure to sit correctly in the car and stretch whenever you get out, there are some steps you can take to relieve that pain. You can immediately curb that pain by icing the area for 20 minutes to help reduce any swelling caused by joint inflammation. Make sure you don’t apply ice directly to the back. Wrap it in a towel or an ice pack to avoid ice burn.
If you don’t find relief with these exercises, please come see us here at Sports Chiropractic Center and get an adjustment!