Around this time of the year you may be going over the river and through the woods to get to your destination, but no matter what you do, the trip may not be as enjoyable due to persistent back pain. Riding in a car for an hour or longer can be challenging on your spine. Here are some tips to help you get through the winter season’s long trips:

 

Smooth Rides

 

Some of the worst parts of a long car ride may be the bumps in the road that jar your spine. If this sounds familiar, you should consider these options. Try sitting on a pillow made for a chair seat or a coccyx cushion that reduces pressure on the spine and the coccyx. At the same time, you should consider bringing your car into the shop to replace any worn shocks or tires. Even the slightest reduction of bounce in a car can make the ride that much easier.

 

Move Around

 

Sitting in one position in a car for a long period of time can stiffen up your muscles, which could lead to achiness and the possibility of inducing back spasms. The best way to combat this is to schedule in planned stops every 30 minutes to get out of your car so that you can move around and stretch. The increased blood circulation will bring nutrients and oxygen to your lower back.

 

Comfort is Key

 

Make sure you are as comfortable as possible before setting off on your trip. Don’t have your wallet, cell phone, or any objects in your back pockets that may make sitting uneven and throw your spine out of alignment. You should also have your spine aligned against the back of the car seat. Sometimes this means adding extra support, which is available through many different cushions specially designed to help with sciatica pain and/or lower back pain.  

 

Be Prepared

 

If you do have back pain, it is a good idea to bring along an ice pack or cold pack in the car with you. Most general back pain is commonly accompanied by inflammation. Using a cold pack on your back can help reduce the swelling and numb sore tissue. Always remember to use a towel or another protective barrier between you and the cold pack to avoid ice burn.
If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, contact the experts at Atlantic Spine Specialists. For more information or to meet with one of our doctors, Dr. Carl Giordano or Dr. Richard Nachwalter MD, request a consultation or call our orthopedic spine office in Morristown, New Jersey at (973) 971-3500.