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. The poor posture that most of us employ while slouched behind the wheel, or scrunched down in the passenger’s seat, commonly leads to lower back pain flare-ups. Driving on our ever-crowded roads also induces stress, which can trigger or amplify lower back pain problems.
Our bodies weren’t designed to sit for hours at a time, cooped up in a car during a road trip. As a result, underlying back problems, coupled with the unnatural contorting of your spine and back muscles, exacerbate lower back pain.
On the bright side, there are steps you can take while enjoying your much-anticipated road trip that may help ward off lower back pain or at least lessen the symptoms. Without further ado, here are 5 proven methods that you can use to alleviate lower back pain during your next cross-country excursion.
1. Position Your Body Comfortably in the vehicle
Keep your seat height as high as it can comfortably go provided you can sustain complete vision on road, your head does not hit the roof of the car and your feet can comfortably reach the floor. High seat position allows you to position your pelvis in the neutral position prevent any slouching and hunched posture.
Also, position your chair within a reasonable distance to the foot pedal. Aim to have your knees bent at approx. 120-135 degree. This will prevent tight hamstrings and maintain your pelvis in a neutral position.
2. Take Frequent Breaks Outside Car
Motion is Lotion. Move from constant positioning frequently. Stop every 60-90 minutes to get out and walk around while traveling. If moving is not possible, perform pelvic tilts every 30 min and move your trunk side to side.
3. Try to have Smoother Rides
While on road you cannot control the condition of roads like potholes, bumps, constructions etc. but in order to create a smoother overall ride, you can take some measures.
- Opt for a newer passenger car as compare to pick up trunks.
- Choose to sit in the front seat
- Prior to departure, make sure the vehicle’s shocks, struts, and tires are in good condition
- Sit on the specially-designed lumbar buffering pillow or a pillow to prevent direct shock to your back.
4. 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 by just moving the seat backward.
If you still have concerns or question visit a Physiotherapist.