Maintaining a Healthy Back During Road Trip Season
By Krista Elliott
Ahhh ... summertime. The kids are on vacation, and your own vacation time is coming up, making it the perfect time for one of America's great traditions: The summer road trip. Road trips are a perfect example of the saying, "It's the journey, not the destination." Who knows what hidden gems you'll unearth during your travels, whether it's that quirkly little artist's shop, the World's Biggest Something-or-other, or a nondescript greasy spoon with the best burgers you've ever tasted in your life.
However, all of those hours in the car (or van, or RV) can do a real number on your back. And back pain can do a real number on your road trip.
Muscle Stiffness ... Or More?
It's normal for your muscles to be a little bit stiff after sitting in a vehicle for a long period of time, which is why it's a great idea to stop every few hours to get your muscles moving and blood flowing. But if you're in considerable pain, the problem may be more than your muscles.
Although you're seated while driving in a vehicle, it's still very different from sitting in a regular chair. For starters, you don't normally lean into turns, feel the force of acceleration, or experience vibrations while sitting in a chair. But in a car, you do. And that's not to mention the shock to your spine when you hit a bump or a pothole. With all of this, it's no wonder that people who drive for a living, like long-distance truckers, experience high rates of lower-back pain.
In fact, research by Dr. David Wilder, a leading researcher in whole-body vibration at the Iowa Spine Research Center, shows that prolonged exposure to whole-body vibration can lead to bulging or herniated discs.
How Chiropractic Care Can Save Your Vacation
No doubt about it, traveling by vehicle can do a number on your back. So how does chiropractic care, like the care you get at The Joint Chiropractic, help?
First of all, by receiving a comprehensive exam, the doctor will be able to assess if there are any areas in your spine or joints that have become misaligned (otherwise known as a subluxation). Then, with careful and precise adjustments, these misalignments are corrected, returning your joints and spine to a healthy position.
With regular chiropractic treatment, you may notice a marked difference in your comfort level while driving -- and after driving. As well, because any existing subluxations have been treated, you are more likely to have better seated posture while driving, which also decreases your risk of damage and pain. You may even notice less muscle stiffness and soreness after driving, as your joints and spine will be working in concert with your muscles for an overall improvement in how you hold your body.
So don't let back pain keep you from hitting the road. With regular chiropractic care, you'll soon be on your way to discover new places, faces, and experiences with your family.