We have talked to a lot of patients who have taken road trips already this summer. Road trips are a great time to go explore somewhere new and create new memories with loved ones. However, long trips can take a toll on your physical health. This is why we created this article sharing some tips to help prevent back pain from interfering with your summer fun. Keep reading to discover these tips below.
1. Properly Lift Your Luggage
As you pack your vehicle, it’s important to lift your luggage carefully into your vehicle. It’s recommended that you bend at the knees and use your leg muscles and hips to lift your luggage, rather than your back. This will help avoid causing you back pain, which isn’t ideal for a long drive. If you have heavy items, ask a friend or family member to help carry them.
2. Take Breaks
No matter how long your trip is, it’s a good idea to stop and take breaks every 2 hours. This gives you time to stretch, walk around, go to the bathroom, and restore your energy levels. After all, being stuck in a vehicle can cause muscle stiffness and fatigue, as well as back, neck, and shoulder pain. You can do some easy, quick exercises to reduce or prevent pain and stiffness. These exercises also increase your blood circulation, oxygen, and energy levels.
Road Trip Exercises:
- Arch your back
- Bend forward and touch your toes
- Go on a short walk
- Rotate your arms
- Slowly roll your head from side to side
- Stretch your arms across your chest
3. Eat Healthy
Fast food is a convenient option on the road. However, this type of food usually contains high sodium and sugar that only provides temporary energy boosts followed by a “crash” period. This is not ideal because you will become quickly fatigued and may slouch over. Slouching over places excessive pressure on your back and neck, which can lead to back and neck pain.
Instead of eating fast food, you can pack a variety of healthy foods for your trip. This will help you feel good and give you the lasting energy you need.
Healthy Food Suggestions:
- Low-sodium jerky
- Granola bars
- Trail mix
- Yogurt cups
4. Drink Water
Like fast food, it can be tempting to grab sugar-rich drinks to keep you alert on the road. While these drinks may taste good, they only offer temporary energy boosts and they don’t provide the proper hydration your body needs. Indeed, water is the best choice to stay hydrated, particularly during those hot summer months.
Benefits of Drinking Water:
- Helps prevent pain and stiffness
- Helps prevent muscle cramping
- Carries oxygen to your muscles, which prevents muscle spasms
- Assists with proper digestion of your meals
5. Use A Good Back Support Pillow
When you sit in your vehicle for long hours, this usually causes you to slouch. Slouching is more comfortable than sitting up straight. Of course, slouching may contribute to you experiencing pain in your hips, lower back, mid-back, upper-back, and/or shoulders. You should invest in a good back support and neck pillow. These special pillows help maintain a healthy posture and reduce pressure placed on your spine.
6. Visit Your Chiropractor
Before your road trip, just like taking time to get your vehicle ready, be sure to get your body tuned up. Like your vehicle, you can benefit from getting a Chiropractic adjustment to make sure your body is in good alignment so you maintain your health and are checked for any health issues. This ensures you can start your trip feeling good. When your spine is properly aligned, you are less likely to experience pain or discomfort.
We hope you enjoyed these handy tips to help you have a successful road trip. The last thing you want is to be suffering from back or neck pain on the road. And don’t forget to get a Chiropractic tune-up after you back from your trip!