School is out, the warm weather is finally here, and summer is almost upon us! You have worked so hard to correct your structural alignment with your regular chiropractic care. Let’s not throw all that hard work out the window by sitting improperly for hours on end during a road trip. If you’re about to hit the road on vacation, here are a few quick and easy tips you can use in the car!
When seated at the wheel, the chair should be in an upright position, not reclined. Also, it is important to keep a slight bend in both the elbows and the knees to ensure proper circulation during long drives. Lastly, it is important to keep your head back against the headrest and not positioned forward towards the windshield. These quick tips help maintain proper spinal alignment while cooped up in the car and help prevent blood circulation issues from arising.
Another great way to ensure proper spinal positioning, while decreasing low back pain, is by using a lumbar support. We have natural curves in our spine that must be maintained to keep pressure off our nerves. When we’re driving for long periods of time, it is easy to lose these curves, often causing low back stiffness and sciatic pain. However, using a lumbar support helps maintain the proper structure in our spine and decreases the likeliness of nerve interference.
Finally, it has been said that sitting for too long has become as detrimental to our health as smoking cigarettes. Therefore, we want to make sure we’re taking frequent breaks during the trip. I know this is easier said than done when we’re trying to make great time on our trip, but pulling over for 5 minutes and stretching is an amazing way to improve circulation and prevent a vacation full of stiffness. Below is a great, full-body stretch sequence I love to use on the road. One of the major benefits of this circuit is that all the stretches can be done standing and don’t require you to lay on the floor at a gas station or rest area (yikes!). Try performing each stretch for 15-20 seconds on each side, then repeating the whole sequence 2-3 times. You’ll instantly feel better and more alert without having to down a 5-Hour Energy!
Have a great summer, be safe, and make sure you are taking care of yourself while traveling. The last thing anyone wants is to miss out on a fun trip because of pain. Incorporate these tips to get to and from your destination pain-free and with proper spinal alignment!