Tips for a Pain-free Car Ride
By Brandi Goodman
With National Seat Check Saturday arriving at the end of September, now's a great time to learn some pain prevention tips for riding in the car. Whether you're the driver or passenger, you can experience back pain easily if you don't follow a few tips for maintaining your well-being while sitting in the vehicle. Consider these options any time you get into an automobile.
Stretch Your Body
Both before you get into a vehicle and while you're riding in one, make sure to stretch your body. You don't want your knees to lock up after sitting for so long. Grab one leg behind you so you can get a good quad stretch. Bend forward and touch your toes as you keep your legs straight. Go for a short walk. All of these options will work to keep you limber. While in the vehicle, do what you can to stretch. Extend one leg as much as you can before lowering it back down. Straighten your back and lift your head toward the ceiling of the car so you can stretch your spine. There are plenty of options that will help prevent stiffness.
Use a Lumbar Support Pillow
A lumbar support pillow can be placed behind your back so you can avoid lower back pain. It will help to cushion you as well as keep you sitting upright. Slouching down and experiencing pain because is easy to achieve when there's no support pillow in place.
Avoid Gripping the Wheel
If you're the one driving, it's important to avoid gripping the wheel. Holding on too tightly to the steering wheel can cause tension in your arms and shoulders. You'll soon feel sore and unable to hold your arms up as you drive. Keep a light grip on the wheel and tighten your hands here and there for a few seconds to bring some circulation to your hands.
Take Frequent Breaks
It's important to take frequent breaks so you're not spending so long in the vehicle. Never go for more than a couple hours at once. Stop at the gas station or at a restroom for a potty break as well as a chance to fully stretch out your body. It's also wise to avoid driving when you're overly tired so you aren't bobbing your head as you drive and trying so hard to maintain focus. This tends to make you grip the wheel tighter.
Though the seat check is really for infants riding in a vehicle, it's important that adults know how to keep themselves safe as well. You don't get to ride in a 5-harness seat that keeps you sitting upright and well-protected. Instead, you need to follow a few tips for a better way to ride pain-free.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pinole, Calif.