Health & Fitness

How to keep the back pain away on a road trip?

People often choose to take a road trip when going for a family vacation. Road trip is a great way to save money on airfare and the best way to see the country. But, on the other hand it can be a problem for people who are suffering from a back pain or someone who has a history of back pain.

Here are a few tips that will help you from aggravating your back pain while taking a road trip:

1. Be comfortable

Take as much time as you need to make sure that you are absolutely comfortable with the sitting arrangements before starting the trip. The reason behind this is the fact that even a small irritation at the start of the trip can lead to a raging pain hours later.

Use more padding like a towel or a pillow between your lower back and the seat for extra support if your car seat lacks back support. You can get hold of a specialized cushions and pillows that are available everywhere which will help you if you already has a back pain like sciatica pain. These specialized cushions and pillows work in such a way that it keeps you comfortable by providing support for the neck, lumbar, spine, bottom and full body.

The next thing to remember is to make sure that you don’t have anything on your back pocket while driving or sitting. For instance don’t sit on your wallet or cell phone as they can throw your spine out of whack.

If you are driving then make sure that you don’t have to reach out more for the steering wheel. Try to sit as close as possible to the steering wheel as reaching for the steering wheel causes more stress on the neck, shoulder, lumbar spine and wrists.

Also remember, to change the sitting position and adjust your seat every 15-20 minutes as staying still is bad for the back pain.

2. Use an ice pack

Never forget to bring an ice pack in your cooler along with your other snacks and drinks.
If you are experiencing any kind of pain, applying the ice pack on the affected area for 20 minutes is a great way to reduce the pain.

Near about every back pain comes with an inflammation. Applying an ice pack is a great way to get rid of the inflammation as well as healing the numb sore tissues and decrease tissue damage.
Keep in mind to never apply the ice directly on the affected area as this could lead to ice burn. So make sure to put the ice in a towel or any other protective barrier before applying it on the damaged region.

3. Use both ice therapy and heat therapy

It is always good to use both the ice pack and a heat pack for the pain. So, make sure to bring something that will provide warmth on the back.

Here are a few ways to put some heat on the back:

  • Just before you leave, get a water bottle and fill it with hot water so that you can place it on your back. Change the water every time you take a bathroom break at a rest stop.
  • You can also buy a heating pad that has an electric car adaptor which you can easily plug into the cigarette lighter.
  • If your car has leather seats with heating power, then turn them on for a few minutes every 30-45 minutes.
  • You can also use warm get packs and heat wraps. The heat wraps is a great way to provide low level heat on your lower back for several hours.

4. Try to do some basic exercises at rest stops

Exercise is a great way to fight back pains. Doing regular exercise keeps the muscles, ligaments, discs and joints healthy by distributing nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the back. So, whenever you are in a rest stop try to do the following:

  • Get out of the car and do some stretching to loosen the hamstrings. Ideally, people who are suffering from lower back pain should stretch their hamstrings twice a day.
  • Walking is the best exercise as it would help to increase circulation and stretch out the back muscles.

5. Go for the back seat
While travelling if your back pain becomes unbearable and the back seat is free, don’t hesitate to use the back seat to lie down and get some rest.

6. Relax and rest
While on a long road trip, it is always good to get some sleep in the car. If you are already suffering from back pain then it is always good to take a nap to keep the pain minimum.