Road Trip Tips for Back Pain

The weather is getting nice in Portland. Soon, we’ll all be getting in our cars to adventure in the woods, the beach, and the mountains. Sometimes with low back pain, it’s not the activity that makes things worse – it’s the inactivity. You’re good to hike but the car ride to the hike is what makes you think twice. And no-one should pass up fun in the sun for low back pain. Especially given how precious warm sunshine is around Portland. 

But there are things you can do to help make the journey a little better! Let’s go down the checklist…

Road Trip Tips for Low Back Pain 

Now it’s worth mentioning that there are lots of kinds of low back pain and what feels great for some types may not for others. But these tips will cover the most common causes and types of low back pain. 

1 – Use your mirrors like a back brace 

Back braces can offer relief of low back pain in part by keeping your posture upright. You can use your car mirrors to do the same thing. When you get in the car, sit up tall and find a good, comfortable posture. Then adjust your mirrors to this position. When you’re driving down the road and you can’t see well out of the mirrors – it’s because your posture has changed. So don’t adjust the mirrors – sit back up! 

2 – Don’t reach too far for the wheel 

When you have to reach too far for the wheel, you slump. This can increase the pressure in the low back. So in a nice and tall seated position, bring the wheel close enough to where you have a little bend in your elbows. But obviously – – don’t bring it too close in case you’re in an accident

3 – Use a bolster for extra support 

Not all cars have adjustable lumbar support bars; and even the ones that do don’t seem to fit most backs. So use a bolster and put it in the middle of your low back where it curves in. This will keep your back supported through the trip. You can buy a bolster from the store or make your own by wrapping up a smaller bath towel nice and tight and taping both ends 

4 – Gas up every quarter to half tank 

It will take you a little longer to get where you’re going, but your back will thank you. Frequent mini breaks where you can change position and walk around will make you more comfortable later on compared to just driving straight through. Now some of you have hybrids or electric cars – – you could probably drive pretty far on half a “tank”. So if that’s the case, just stop off somewhere every 45 minutes or so. Maybe grab some road snacks; take a picture in front of a cool sign; just enjoy the journey! 

And that’s that! 4 quick tips to making sure low back pain doesn’t stop you from taking road trips all around this gorgeous state. Until next time, take care! 

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