As summer gets closer, families are planning their summer vacations to visit loved ones. A Market Watch report indicates that 1 in 3 Americans planned on taking summer road trips in 2020. Road trips are a great time to explore somewhere new and create memories with friends and family. However, long trips can take a toll on your physical health. Keep reading to discover some easy ways to prevent back pain from interfering with your summer vacations.
1. Lift Your Luggage Carefully
As you pack your vehicle, it’s important to lift your luggage carefully into your vehicle. It’s recommended that you bend at the knees and use your leg muscles and hips to lift your luggage, rather than your back. This will help avoid causing you back pain, which is never ideal for a long trip. Ask a friend or family member to help carry any heavy items. Your back will thank you later.
2. Take Regular Breaks
No matter how long your trip is, it’s a good idea to take regular breaks every 2 hours. This gives you time to stretch, walk around, go to the restroom, and restore your energy levels. After all, being stuck in a vehicle can cause muscle stiffness and fatigue, as well as back, neck, and shoulder pain. You can do some quick, easy exercises to reduce or prevent pain and stiffness. These exercises also increase your blood circulation, oxygen, and energy levels.
Road Trip Exercises:
- Arch your back
- Bend forward and touch your toes
- Go on a short walk
- Rotate your arms
- Slowly roll your head from side to side
- Stretch your arms across your chest
3. Eat Healthy
Fast food is a convenient option on the road. However, this food usually has high sodium and sugar that only provides temporary energy boosts followed by a “crash” period. This is not ideal because you will become quickly fatigued and may slouch over. When you slouch over, this places excessive pressure on your back and neck, which can lead to back and neck pain.
Instead of eating fast food, you can pack a variety of healthy foods for your trip. This will help you feel good and give you the lasting energy you need.
Healthy Food Suggestions:
- Low-sodium jerky
- Granola bars
- Trail mix
4. Drink Enough Water
Like fast food, it can be tempting to grab sugar-rich drinks to keep you alert while driving. These drinks may taste good, but they only offer short-term energy boosts nor do they provide the proper hydration your body needs. Indeed, water is the best choice to stay hydrated, especially during hot summer months.
Benefits of Drinking Water:
- Helps prevent pain and stiffness
- Helps prevent muscle cramping
- Carries oxygen to your muscles, which prevents muscle spasms
- Assists with proper digestion of your meals
5. Use Proper Back Support
When you sit in your vehicle for several hours, this can cause you to slouch. Slouching is more comfortable than sitting up straight. Of course, slouching may contribute to you experiencing pain in your hips, lower back, mid-back, upper-back, or shoulders. You can invest in a good back support pillow for traveling. This special pillow helps you maintain a healthy posture and reduce pressure placed on your spine.
6. Visit Your Chiropractor
Before your road trip, you take the time to get your vehicle ready. This involves checking your tire pressure, doing an oil change, and making sure your vehicle is in good condition for a long trip. Like your vehicle, you can benefit from visiting your local chiropractor to maintain your health and check for any health concerns. Your chiropractor will create a personalized treatment plan designed to address any spine misalignments you may have. Indeed, this will help set you up for road trip success, as you will be feeling good. When your spine is correctly aligned, you are less likely to experience pain and discomfort.
As you can see, there are several easy ways to have a successful road trip. The last thing you want is to be suffering from back or neck pain on the road. Contact At Last Chiropractor today, the best chiropractor in Lithia, FL. Learn how we can help you prepare for your summer adventures!