Whether you’re in a car or an airplane, sitting causes a lot of pressure on your lumbar spine. For those of you who are traveling more than an hour away, it’s important to keep your spinal health in mind. In fact, prolonged sitting – especially with improper posture – is a leading cause of back pain.
Here are 5 tips for you to keep your spine and neck healthier while traveling:
1) Follow the curves…in your spine! To help relieve some of the pressure on your back, try using a lumbar pillow. It will also will help improve your form. If you don’t have an official lumbar pillow, try using a rolled-up sweatshirt or even bubble wrap. Place it in the small of your back to help keep the natural curve in your low back.
2) Stay hydrated. Drinking water helps prevent muscle cramping and lubricates the joints in the body, as well as aiding in your body’s fight against pain and stiffness. Water intake also motivates you to act on the next tip:
3) Schedule regular breaks. For every 2 hours of driving, take at least 15 minutes to walk around and stretch out your back, legs and neck.
4) Maintain good posture. While you are traveling, be mindful of your posture: sit up and make sure your spine is properly aligned.
5) Give your neck a break. If you’re a passenger, do you spend a lot time on your phone playing games and scrolling through social media? Looking down at your phone or book for too long can create neck pain. You could also experience headaches or shoulder aches. Set aside “device free” time on the road. Use a neck pillow to stay comfortable and maintain good form.
Chiropractic Care After Your Road Trip
After your journey, you will likely need (want!) a chiropractic adjustment. Even after implementing all of the tips above, your body can still suffer from the aches and pains caused by traveling.