Family vacation road trips are an American staple. With the high price of airline tickets and hidden fees, many families opt for the open road when it comes to holidays, vacations, and the chance to travel the country. But sitting in a car for hours can also take a toll on your spine. "Whether you have a history of back pain or not, you need to protect your back during a long car trip," says Dr. Matthew Greenberg, D.C., Chiropractic Director of Woodstock.
For many people with back pain or neck pain, the prospect of a long trip can be daunting. Millions of Americans experience the most common form of back pain--muscle tension--and it turns out being behind the wheel of a car puts drivers at great risk for it since they're in a static position at the very time their sense of awareness is most heightened. "Driving requires constant tension," says Greenberg. "Which itself can create the scenario for muscle pain."
Dr. Matthew Greenberg, D.C. and Chiro One Wellness Centers recommend the following steps to help prevent back pain while driving:
SUPPORT YOUR LOWER BACK.
If your car seat doesn't offer enough support for your lower back, there is a wide selection of seat cushions, pillows, and other travel items on the market that are designed to make you much more comfortable. But if you don't want to go that route, you can roll up a towel and create a makeshift cushion between your lower back and the car seat. Note that the widest part of the support should be between the bottom of your rib cage and your waistline.
TAKE DRIVING BREAKS.
Sitting in the same position for long periods of time is sure to exacerbate your back pain or cause strain. Make sure you take the time to get out and stretch and walk at rest stops and towns along the way. Taking just a few minutes to do some stretches for your back and limbs can make a big difference in preventing pain.
BRING AN ICE PACK.
Bring a cooler packed with some ice packs to relieve pain on the road. If you need to ice your back, limit it to 15 minutes at a time. Also, make sure there is a barrier, such as a towel, between the ice and your skin.
MAINTAIN GOOD POSTURE.
It is important to maintain good posture while driving to prevent injuries to your back and neck. Try your best to avoid a slumping posture that is characterized by a hunched back and thrusting your head forward. Keep your pelvis as far back as possible in the seat, keep your spine as straight as possible, and let your shoulders relax.
CHIROPRACTIC CARE CAN HELP...
If you follow these simple tips, you can enjoy pain-free, safe travel, however, if you do experience pain and stress on your back, Doctors of Chiropractic are trained and licensed to diagnose and treat problems of the spine and nervous system and can help you alleviate your pain naturally, so you can relax and enjoy your travels.
Dr. Matthew Greenberg, D.C. serves as Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of Woodstock located at 11605 Catalpa Ln. Woodstock, IL 60517. Greenberg is accepting new patients and can be reached at (815) 337-4417.
For more information about Chiro One Wellness Centers, visit http://www.ChiroOne.net. Follow Chiro One on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/ChiroOne.