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Avoid Pain While On the Road

By Sara Butler

Long car journeys give you a lot to complain about. One of the most prevalent complaints is back pain. A lot of people experience some level of back or neck pain after driving long distance -- or even being a passenger in the car. This can lead to aches that become more difficult to recover from in the future, which is why you should deal with them in the here and now. Here are a few tips to help you avoid pain while you're on the road.

Proper Support is Vital

There have been many advances in the designs of cars over the years, but the seat itself has been horribly neglected. This means that a car seat isn't really designed to support proper posture as you drive or to help support the natural curves of your spine. This can lead to neck and back pain, yes, but also reduced concentration and fatigue behind the wheel.

Make sure to pay attention to your posture in the car. Sit up straight, use a rolled up towel or small pillow at the small of your back for lumbar support, and you might avoid a few of the aches and pains associated with long hours in the car.

Think About Positioning

There's a right way and a wrong way to position your car seat in order to avoid back and neck pain. You should be close enough to the wheel so that you don't have to stretch your arms out to reach it. Sitting too far away can lead to shoulder strain which eventually leads to neck pain. When holding onto the wheel, your arms should be bent slightly and you should have a comfortable view of the road. You must also ensure that you're sitting back far enough to reach the pedals comfortably.

When Driving Long Distance

Sitting in one position for too long will eventually lead to strain and stress on your back and the muscles that support it. But people get focused on reaching their final destinations as quickly as possible so they often neglect to stop regularly to get out and stretch in order to keep the back healthy. The takeaway here is that if you're going anywhere that requires more than an hour's drive, you need to stop about every hour to move around a bit and get your blood flowing, breaking whatever posture you've been sitting in.

If you spend a lot of time in the car -- and in Southern California, you know that you do -- then it's important to keep your body healthy! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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