The holidays are here and with them comes a lot of driving for many people. Even if it is something as simple as driving to the store to get food for your holiday dinner or driving to meet your family who lives an hour or two away, back pain can flare up at any moment. If you have back problems normally, then you know how bad it can feel when you are traveling all day and you can’t stretch to help make it feel better. Sitting in the car for an extended period of time can trigger back pain, or can exacerbate existing discomfort. If you are the passenger, you might be able to get into a comfortable position, but if you are driving you can mix it up with the way that you are sitting. If you do have back pain and someone else can possibly drive you, then you should take them up on it, but if you are forced to drive then here are some tips and tricks on how to stop that commute from causing you more back pain.
Use Lumbar Support
Having something to support your lower back can be very important when it comes to prevention. Unless the seat is completely conformed to your back, your lower back is usually where your back is at an angle when you are driving. This can cause stress and fatigue to start in your lower back area and rise all the way to your upper back simply because it is doing all the support. You can prevent this strain from happening by place something like a rolled-up towel or a small pillow at the base of your back area. This will allow the entirety of your back to be supported and not only your upper back area.
Cruise Control Is Your Best Friend
If you are driving for an extended amount of time on a highway or interstate, go ahead and set your cruise control and relax a little bit. When we drive we are often unbalanced because we are using one foot to control the entire motion of the car. When we do this is, we are angling our bodies in a way that is not properly balanced because we are motioning a single way for a long while. This can cause strain on your back as you are relying on a single point in your back to help support your entire back area. When you are able to set the cruise control, you can move your feet back into an even place and allow both your foot and back to become centered again.
Turn On The Seat Warmer
When your back begins to have a spasm it is best to apply direct heat to the area that is spasming. Of course, this isn’t always something that you may have quick access to when you are traveling. A seat warmer can end up working just as well if you don’t have a heat pack nearby. Of course, most older cars don’t come equipped with a seat heater, if this is the case, we would recommend picking up a heated seat warmer from your local store to help you out on the road.
Bring An Ice Pack
This works best in tandem with having a seat warmer, but it will also help if you only have one or the other. While the seat warmer reduces tension and relaxes your muscles, the ice pack can numb the painful area and reduce inflammation. It is best to alternate the ice and heat every 15 minutes. You can buy portable ice packs at many retail chains, but if you cannot find one, using something like Icy Hot can help provide temporary relief to your back.
Stretch, Stretch, And Stretch Again
When you are making good time on a drive, sometimes you may want to power through that back pain and continue on, but we would recommend against it. You should try and pull over and stretch your back out every 30 minutes if possible. It can be a hassle, but it may save you from having pains for the rest of your day following your drive.
Contact Us For Any Back Pain Needs
While these tips may help you relieve pain currently, back pain can often be something that can make you feel terrible on a regular basis. Our DMR Method in Rogers (Diagnose, Manage, and Rehabilitate) can help anyone with back pain to find relief in their daily lives. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to help relieve you of pain!