Traveling Tips to Keep Your Back Healthy

By Randi Morse 

Traveling during the holiday season is somewhat of a necessity. It's the perfect time to take a long drive and visit Aunt Matilda or Aunt Harriet while you indulge in some pumpkin pie and delicious ham. Rather than flying, it can be nice to drive to your destination. Driving gives you more quality family time and allows you to see places that you would have missed if you chose to fly. Riding in a car for an extended period isn't necessarily the best thing for your back. If you're going to be traveling this holiday season, here are a few tips that you can use to help keep your spine healthy. 

Exercise 

When you sit for long periods of time, your back muscles can tighten up. This tightening can lead to muscle spasms and serious pain. Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent muscle pain in your back during a long drive. Start by scheduling regular stops every 30 to 60 minutes. Find a place to park the car, get out, and walk around. It's even better if you do some stretches while you are walking. This helps to keep the back muscles loose and encourages blood flow, which brings nutrients to your spine and back muscles. 

If, for whatever reason, you're not able to stop regularly, there are some exercises you can do in the seat of your car. Make sure to adjust how you're sitting every 20 minutes. Bend forward at the waist and hug your knees for a minute or so and try stretching your ankles and toes regularly. All of these things help to stimulate blood flow and gives your muscles the stretch they desperately need. 

Long Trips 

If you're going to be traveling for a long trip, make sure you break up your trip time. If your trip is going to take 12 hours, take two days to travel rather than one. The more you sit, the more pressure you're placing on your spine. If you choose to take a bit longer to get to your destination, you're not only giving your back a break, you're also exposing yourself to new tourist locations that you may not have noticed before. 

Don't let the idea of a long drive make you shy away from traveling by road this holiday season. If you take your time, get out and stretch regularly, and pause to enjoy the adventure, your back will be in great shape when you get to your destination. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.

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