A summer road trip is something most of us will experience at some point (or at least it’s on our bucket lists). However, despite all the fun that comes with a road trip – sitting for extended periods can wreak havoc on your body. Luckily, there are lots of ways to set yourself up for a pain-free road trip!
Planning is key to keeping your road trip pain-free. This includes finding the most comfortable seat or way to sit in your car and figuring out how to pack so that your luggage doesn’t impede your space and being able to sit comfortably. Here are some important things to plan before heading out on your road trip:
Consider Back Support
Test out your car’s seats. Not every car has proper lumbar support, and if it does it’s often only the driver’s seat. If that’s the case, consider buying a lumbar support pillow or other back support, there are tons of options available for cars nowadays. A simple pillow or back support can make all the difference in staying pain-free on your car journey.
Additionally, if you suffer from sciatica, consider bringing or buying a donut pillow – these pillows take the pressure off the sciatic nerve making it easier for you to sit for longer periods of time.
Pack Pain Relief Essentials
If you use certain medications or other therapies for managing your pain, make sure you pack them. While the goal is to avoid pain (or additional pain) on your road trip, you never know when pain can hit.
Pack up your pain relief essentials like Tylenol, hot/cold packs, pain rubs, and/or prescriptions in a small bag and make sure you pack it somewhere that’s easy to access if you need it while you’re driving.
Get a Check-Up
Before heading out on your trip, chances are you’ll bring your vehicle in for a check-up to make sure it’s in perfect working order before hitting the road. Your body is no different. Start your trip by visiting Korsh Spinal Health and Wellness or your manual practitioner for your regular maintenance appointment to make sure you’re feeling your best before driving off!
Comfort is Key
The first thing you need to do when you’re ready to leave is getting comfortable. This means adjusting the seat, adding back support, making sure luggage isn’t digging into your back or side, etc. Take some time to situate yourself and ensure you’re comfortable.
Put all essentials like your pain relief kit, snacks, books and activities somewhere that’s easy to reach without too much twisting so that you can have easy access as needed on your journey.
Plan Rest Stops
Take your time! Trying to power through your road trip to get to your destination, or make up for lost time because you got stuck in traffic is not worth the toll it may take on your body. Make sure you plan regular rest stops – not just to use the washroom or grab dinner either.
Almost as important as stopping for the washroom or gas, taking regular stretching can be the difference between experiencing pain or not on your trip. Take 5 or 10 minutes to get out of the car, walk around, and perform some basic stretches for your back, hips and legs.
Take a Detour
If you can, consider taking a quick detour. Stop off at a national park or conservation area, visit a zoo in a city you’re driving through or explore the downtown area of a small town. Use these detours to get out and spend more time moving and walking around to loosen up those tight muscles and get your blood pumping. These detours are also a great way to get to see places and things you may never have seen otherwise.
Switch it up!
If you can switch things up! This means taking turns driving, or shifting a bit of luggage around at a pit stop so you can move from the passenger seat to stretch out a bit more in the back. If that’s not an option, make sure you’re shifting positions where you’re sitting frequently – bend your knees, stretch your legs out, etc.
Road trips can be the trip of a lifetime, but they can also be hard on our bodies. If you plan, prioritize your comfort and take regular pit stops you can help minimize the toll it takes and even keep your trip pain-free – worry less about pain and focus more on the fun!
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