Still hoping to get away for a break this autumn but not looking forward to the car journey? Read our guest blog with tips on how to make sure you have a comfortable experience.
No one wants to start their holiday feeling uncomfortable or sore. Almost everyone experiences some stiffness after sitting for long periods without a break but for those of you with an existing back condition the thought of a long car journey might be even more daunting.
The good news is that there are lots of practical things you can do to help and we’ve asked one of our local physiotherapy clinics – Physiofit Newmarket – to share their top tips for keeping you on the road pain free:
Remove any items in your back pockets and sit right back in the car seat. Adjust the seat distance from the pedals, so that your knee is still slightly bent when your foot is on the floor.
Adjust the height of the chair and angle of the backrest until you can reach the steering wheel easily with your arms relaxed and your spine feels supported all the way up.
If the lumbar (lower back) support doesn’t fit into the curve of your spine properly, try putting a rolled up towel or small cushion in your lower back instead.
Try moving the back rest a few degrees into a more upright position or recline slightly if you are already upright. A small change in the angle of the backrest or moving the seat a fraction closer or further away from the pedals, can give some relief until you are able to stop and stretch properly.
Applying heat to increase the blood flow to the muscles in your lower back can help to relieve pain, relax tight muscles and make stiff joints move more comfortably. If you don’t have heated car seats, then invest in heat pad which connects to your cigarette lighter and turn it on when needed.
Get out of your car every 2 hours of driving for at least 15 minutes. Walk around, stretch and restore your circulation.
Shift your weight from side to side, clench and unclench your buttocks a few times, arch and relax your lower back, roll your shoulders backwards and turn and stretch out your neck. Small regular adjustments for your body will all add up a big improvement in how you feel when you finish the journey.
Finally, when you arrive at your destination ask for help unloading the car and take it a bag at a time in several trips, rather than taking in as much as you can carry all in one go.
If your back pain persists then the team at Physiofit Newmarket are very happy to very happy to help.
7 All Saints Rd,
Phone: 01638 280876
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