Welcome to part two of our short blog series! Driving, or riding as a passenger in a vehicle, is something most of us do to get from point A to point B. For some, driving for a living means spending even more time sitting in a vehicle much more frequently and for much longer periods of time. And now that the official start of summer is just a few short weeks away, Murfreesboro residents will be embarking on road trips inside and outside of our great state. So, as you hit the road this summer, whether for a short distance or long distance, keep your spinal health and wellness in mind. Before heading out on a road trip, or if you drive for a living, give your Murfreesboro chiropractor at Barfield Chiropractic a call to schedule for chiropractic care. Keeping up with regular chiropractic treatments can relieve neck and back pain caused by driving, as can muscle therapy, physiotherapy, and spinal decompression. That being said, let’s look at four more tips for managing your back pain while driving in today’s blog post.

Pack an Ice Pack

Ice is an effective pain reliever and reduces swelling and inflammation. If you drive a vehicle for a living, or will be driving on a long distance trip, you will want to pack a few ice packs in a cooler. These can be applied to your neck, shoulders, and lower back to relieve pain discomfort caused by prolonged sitting. If you don’t have ice packs, you can always freeze a few water bottles or soda bottles filled with water, and then stick them in a sock to protect your skin and clothing from condensation that will occur once they begin to melt.  

Make Pit Stops to Stretch

If you’ll be driving a long distance, make sure to pull over every so often to stretch and move around. Your joints and muscles can become stiff, sore, and tight from sitting, so it’s important to stretch these areas, while also moving around to get the blood flowing. Getting your circulation going can reduce muscle tension and tightness that can trigger pain in various areas of the body. While stretching your neck, back, and shoulders are essential, be sure to stretch your arms and legs, which can also become cramped and stiff from driving. Stretching your legs, especially your hamstrings, can relieve back pain and pain in the lower back, sciatic nerve, and hips.   

Carry Topical Pain Relievers

Traveling with topical pain relief creams and essential oils can help reduce back pain significantly while you drive. For some, topical pain relievers like Biofreeze™, Sombra® Cool Therapy, Sombra® Warm Therapy, Aspercreme®, Bengay®, and even Tiger Balm® can provide quick pain relief for sore, stiff, and tense muscles and joints. What’s great about these pain relieving products is they penetrate the sore area providing temporary pain relief without having to take pain pills, and are often made available in an easy roll-on applicator.

Essential oils derived from plants and herbs are another effective option for immediate pain relief. Lavender and peppermint have healing properties and have been used for centuries to relieve joint and muscle discomfort. Applying these essential oils directly or mixed into lotion can ease the pain in your neck, back, and lower back, while also providing headache and migraine relief that may be caused from eye and neck strain.   

Take Turns Driving

If you’re traveling with others, take turns driving. Having your foot on the gas pedal for long periods of time can place stress on your glutes and hip muscles, which can lead to muscle fatigue and spasms. Taking turns driving gives you and your driving partner a break from having to remain in an extended position that can cause back and hip pain. When you switch drivers, give yourselves a chance to stretch before re-entering the vehicle. Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes, adjust the seat and steering wheel to match your arm and leg reach, and utilize a good lumbar support when driving or riding as a passenger.

Schedule Spinal Treatments

Whether you drive for a living, are going on a road trip, or experience back pain that is aggravated whenever you sit in a car, chiropractic care, muscle therapy, spinal decompression, and other pain relief treatments can reduce your pain naturally. Give your Murfreesboro chiropractor a call today to schedule regular spinal care visits that can treat the root cause of your discomfort and help you live a pain-free life.