A road trip is fun in theory, and it can be in reality, but face it, there are times when it can be really uncomfortable or downright painful. When you’re sitting for so long in one place, it can be difficult on your body, especially your back. This is especially worse if you’re cramped in the car with other people with little to no space to move.
It can be really challenging, especially if you love long road trips with your loved ones and friends. Fortunately, there are steps you can take, so you don’t have to suffer from any bodily pain too much. Here are some pain-management tips for long-distance driving.
First off, the minute before you go on that road trip, make sure to adjust yourself to your seat as comfortably as you can. Be aware of correct sitting posture as this will help you in long run. If you have things in the back pocket of your pants or shorts, make sure to remove them because sitting on them for a long time will not do your back or spinal alignment any favor.
Sit up straight, and try to maintain the correct position for as long as you can. You also need to make sure that your back is aligned with the back of your seat. If you have back troubles, pain, or even scoliosis, you can add extra support like special pillows or cushions. You can also put a rolled pillow or towel between the back of the seat and your lower back to cushion it.
Just know that it may take a few adjustments here and there to achieve optimum comfort. Apart from extra support, you can add accessories to help you achieve good posture. Comfortable and nonslip floor mats not only help protect the car from wetness and staining, but they also make your feet snug. And even if you do manage to spill anything on the mats, they are easy to clean, so it saves you time and energy.
Stretch as Much as You Can
Suppose you have a schedule you have to follow and that means you’ll be driving or sitting in a car for hours at a time. It can be stifling and uncomfortable being seated all the time, so it is recommended that you stretch as much as you can. You can adjust your seat if it helps you.
Making slight movements like changing your body position at least every half hour helps. You can even do little exercises like slowly rotating your ankles, your head, and maybe your wrists to stimulate blood flow. Doing these stretches is great against muscle spasms and aches later on.
Take Pit Stops Frequently
If taking stretches no longer suffice in your need to move, take pit stops frequently if your schedule allows it. Your body will thank you if you get up and walk around every once in a while. Try some gentle exercises that can stretch your lower back. There are some exercises to help relieve neck and shoulder pain as well.
Take Pain Medication
Sometimes, other people can’t function when the pain is too great. This goes too for people who are dependent on pain medication to ease their suffering. Pain medication can come in different types; others are OTC, and some are prescription.
Some painkillers may make you drowsy, so someone should take your place as the designated driver if you plan to take that kind of medicine. Check the labels and ask the pharmacist too before you take the medicine.
If you already have body pains or anticipate having them later on the trip, it is best to pack a cold pack or a hot pack, depending on what you need. A cold pack can help ease sore tissues and reduce inflammation. You can keep reusable ice packs in a cooler, or if you don’t have any, get some at a pharmacy early on in the trip so you can quickly use it once the soreness has started.
Eat Well and Right
It is part of road trips to eat gas-station food and other unhealthy stuff. While it is a reality, you don’t have to do it if you prepare well. Pack healthier fare such as salads and snacks like fruits and mixed nuts. Remember to stay hydrated as well.
What are your pain-management methods when you go on a road trip? Share your thoughts below.