Long Road Trip Coming Up?

A woman sitting on a car at the beach

With summer almost here, everyone is gearing up to hit the road. Long road trips are fun, but for those of us with back pain issues it can be torture. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid the pain and enjoy the ride!

1. Set Yourself Up Right!

No wallets, cell phones, key fobs, or anything else that might throw off you alignment in your pockets. Make sure that your back is aligned against the back of your seat. Reduce reaching for the steering wheel, which places more stress on the lumbar spine, neck, shoulder, and wrists. Instead, sit as close to the steering wheel as possible without compromising your safety.

A man driving in a car on a busy road

2.  Go Exploring (and exercising)!

Sitting in one position for too long can be hard on the back. Make sure you make plenty of stops and get some exercise. Specifically, active back exercises keep discs, muscles, ligaments and joints healthy by distributing nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the back. Even walking around a bit is a good way to stretch out the muscles.

A person standing on a rock looking at the ocean

3. Get Some Support!

Some cars, especially older models can make back pain worse. Car seats often do not support the natural curve of your back. An inflatable seat cushion with an ergonomic design evenly distributes your weight to provide comfort from pressure point pain.

A woman with lower back pain sitting on an inflatable seat cushion because of pressure ulcers, bedsores, pressure sores, bruised tailbones, sciatica, or hip pain.

4. Watch how you sit

Supporting your spine starts with bottom-up leverage from your feet. Your feet need to be placed on a firm surface and at the right height to avoid transferring stress to your lower back. It is ideal to have your knees at a right angle. This means, if your seat is too high it is best to put your feet on a footrest. If you are the driver and have the ability to use cruise control for a longer drive, you may want to do this to allow you to have both feet on the floor for periods of time.

A man driving a car

5. Enjoy the View!

Distractions can really help take your mind off any pain you might be feeling. Listening to music, audio books or taking in the sights can do the trick if you're driving. Passengers can play games or do crossword puzzles to occupy their time. 

A group of people sitting in the back of a car