Couple in front of car

Does back pain drive you crazy while on the road? Here are five tips to help you put the brakes on discomfort so you can focus on the fun.

Long car rides can cause your hips, butt, lower back, and shoulders to feel tight. The longer you’re sitting, the more damage you could do. When you sit, your spine loses its natural curve, causing a strain on your vertebrae and discs. Your sciatic nerve can also become agitated when sitting, and that can lead to hip and thigh pain. If you don’t sit upright, the tipped-back position of a car seat places strain on your hamstrings, which cause the pelvis to become misaligned.

1. Take the high road.

Sit up straight with your knees slightly higher than your hips, and keep your chin pulled in so that your head sits straight on top of your spine.

2. Take frequent breaks.

It can be tempting to just power through a drive, especially when you’re eager to get to your destination, but it’s in your and your body’s best interest to break up the drive. Ideally, it’s best to stop every 30 minutes. Before you leave, map out a couple of rest stops that have space for you to walk around and stretch. Movement stimulates blood circulation, which brings nutrients and oxygen to your lower back.

3. Empty your pockets.

Take your wallet, cell phone, or anything else in your back pockets out — these could throw your spine out of alignment.

4. Sit up straight.

Keep your back aligned with your seat. It can be helpful to add extra support to your car seat. Before you go, look into specialized cushions and pillows to help with sciatica pain and lower back pain. Short on time? Use a small support between your lower back and the seat. This will support the contour of the inward curve in your lower back.

5. Wiggle a little.

While driving, try to move a little in your seat; even 10 seconds of movement and stretching is better than nothing at all. If nothing else, try to make it a habit to adjust your seat and change your position slightly every 15 to 20 minutes. Any movement that is safe to do in the car will help you out.

We want you to make the most of the summer by giving you every opportunity to enjoy it to the fullest. Contact us if you haven’t had a clean and check lately or want to ensure you’re hearing your best. We wish you safe — and comfortable — travels!