When you suffer from back pain, sitting in a car for hours can make it much worse. Even people who don’t normally endure lower back discomfort, can begin to experience it on a long car trip. However, by planning ahead and taking a few precautions, much of this back pain can be reduced or sometimes even prevented. Here are a few tips and ideas to help prevent back pain while driving or riding in a car.
Get Comfortable Immediately. When you first get into your car, make sure that you are sitting comfortably. Especially if you already have some back discomfort, sitting in an uncomfortable position will worsen the feeling.
Change Your Seat Position. Most of today’s cars have seats that place the driver’s pelvis lower than the driver’s knees. For most people, this makes a more comfortable chair. However, sitting in this position adds extra pressure on the tailbone. This pressure can be relieved by raising your seat so that your pelvis is parallel to your knees, or even slightly higher. If your seat is unable to move this way, you a wedge shaped cushion can help provide the same lower back pain relief.
Lumbar Support. If you have a long drive or lower back discomfort, you can take a small towel, roll it up and use it as a lumbar support. This can help relieve some pressure during a long trip.
Take Frequent Breaks and Stretch. You can go from rest stop to rest stop if you need to. At each stop, get out and stretch or exercise a bit. Walking helps to get your blood flowing again and will also help keep you awake. It is also very important to stretch your hamstrings. While sitting for extended periods of time, your hamstrings get shortened and tighter. Stretch them gently to relieve some tightness and help your lower back.
Trade off Driving When Possible. If you are driving with a partner, you can trade off driving so the other can relax and stretch. If you need to, go into the back seat and either lie down to rest, or you can stretch your legs out.
The most important thing to keep in mind, is to be aware that you have an issue and think through some things before you leave on a longer trip. It mostly comes down to common sense, but try to pack whatever back support items you may need and leave extra time so you can get out and walk around or stretch if needed.
Find another great resource for ways to prevent and relieve back pain while driving here.
This article originally appeared on relaxobak.com