The Chiropractor's Guide to Holiday Traveling
By Brandi Swieter
Holiday traveling isn’t always about making it home for the holidays at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Many people do a lot of traveling in between time, heading to the best shops or the mall a town over to get the ideal gifts for everyone on the shopping list. No matter what type of traveling gets done this season, a chiropractor’s guide will help ensure the body remains in optimal condition to get the driving done. It can hurt the neck and back if drivers aren’t careful.
Keep the Seat High
A low driver’s seat leads to slouching and improper posture. It is best to keep the seat high, as much as it can go, so the body stays in optimal position while driving. As long as vision is achieved through the windshield as well as in the mirrors, the head is not hitting the roof of the car, and the feet can reach the pedals without having to stretch and strain, the height should work well for the trip.
Stretch While Sitting
Long drives tend to take place over the holidays in particular. While still sitting in the car, whether stopped at a light or upon first arriving to the destination, it is important to stretch in the seat to take some pressure off the spine. Push the pelvis to the back of the seat and sit upright as much as possible to get a good stretch. The hands can even be placed on the sides of the seats and pushed down to help get a better stretch.
Take Stretch Breaks for the Legs
Even if stretching while sitting helps the back, it doesn’t do much for the legs that have been cramped, pushing pedals. It is necessary to take stretch breaks for the legs every so often where the driver actually gets out of the vehicle and can stretch the body completely. It will get the blood flowing freely again and help to relieve some aches that may have set in.
Keep the Elbows Near the Body
Too many drivers keep their arms stiff while driving, having them extended with the elbows barely bent. Driving like this puts a lot of added pressure on the shoulders, which can lead to significant neck and shoulder pain. It is best to keep the elbows bent so they sit near the body. The body is in a more relaxed form which will help to prevent pain from setting into the shoulder area.
Driving during the holidays can be stressful enough without having to worry about pain because of improper posture. Follow some chiropractic advice when driving and the trip will go as smoothly as possible, at least for the body.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.