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Long Drive? Leave the Pain at Home!

By Donna Stark

You would never hop into bed and put yourself in an uncomfortable position for your night's sleep, so why would you do that for those extended drives you will be taking this summer during your family's road-trip? The first thing you need to do when you hop in the car and before the bag of turkey jerky is even opened is to ensure that your comfort is addressed. Because if there is anything you need to know about surviving a road trip, it's this: if you are uncomfortable the minute you get on the highway, it is likely to get worse during the long hours it takes to get to your destination.

Tips for a Spine-Healthy Drive

Driving for extended amounts of time can increase the risk of back and neck pain, so whether you are driving your family to the beach or you are driving for that weekly paycheck, it's important to take the appropriate measures that will keep your spine healthy and pain-free. Take a look.

  • Head position - In addition to helping you keep your eyes on the road, the position of your head can also keep your spine in its proper alignment. Try to maintain a neutral position, keep your shoulders relaxed, and if you choose to wear a hat, make sure the rim doesn't block your view, as this can cause you to tilt your head.
  • Breaks - Sure, we all want to get to our destination in as little time as possible, but saving your back is a much wiser choice than saving those few extra minutes. Show your body some love and make some time for breaks. Get out and stretch or take a little walk for more chips and jerky.
  • Lumbar support - If your vehicle is equipped with adjustable lumbar support, use it! This can help prevent your back from fatigue and discomfort. But if your vehicle does not have adequate support, consider using a small pillow or a rolled-up towel.
  • Wallets - My dad does this and he needs to break this habit. If you keep your wallet in your back pocket, at the very least, take it out when driving. Even the smallest shift in how you sit can throw off your alignment which can lead to pain and discomfort.
  • Placement - Before you start the car, make sure the things you might need while driving are within your reach. Things you may want to consider are sunglasses, phones, tissues, snacks, and beverages. If you have to twist or bend while navigating the road just in order to reach these things, you could be putting yourself and others at risk.

Preparing for a Pain-Free Drive

By taking a few minutes before you start your trip, you can set yourself up for a comfortable drive and get to your final destination pain-free. So make the appropriate adjustments sooner than later. Your body will definitely thank you for it!

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

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