01 Oct 4 Spine Health Tips for Holiday Road Trips
Each holiday season, AAA predicts that more than 100 million people travel to see their loved ones, enjoy home cooked meals, host gift exchanges, and honor holiday traditions. The U.S. Holiday Travel shares these stats:
“The Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year.
During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent.
During the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year.
Most long-distance holiday travel, about 91 percent, is by personal vehicle, such as by car.”
Whether you’re sitting in a car for too long or working at a desk job, sitting causes a lot of pressure on your lumbar spine. For those of you who are traveling more than an hour away, it’s important to keep your spinal health in mind. In fact, sitting for too long – especially with improper posture – is a leading cause of back pain and issues.
Here are 4 tips for you to keep your spine and neck healthier this holiday season
1). Use a lumbar pillow. To help relieve some of the pressure, you can use a lumbar pillow. This pillow will help improve your form too. If you don’t have a lumbar spine pillow, try using a folded up sweatshirt. Place it in the small of your back to help keep the natural curve in your low back. Use either of these lumbar support options for as long as possible.
2). Schedule stretch breaks. Schedule rest breaks every 1 to 2 hours. Instead of pulling through a drive thru, hop out of the car and go inside. Spend 5 to 10 minutes walking around and stretching out your back, legs, neck, and arms.
3). Maintain good posture. While you are traveling, be mindful of your posture. Scoot toward the end of your seat and point your toes and knees inward. This posture will force you to sit up properly and make sure your spine is properly aligned. This tip is more ideal for a passenger as opposed to the driver. Always be sure you are safe while driving.
4). Give your neck a break. If you’re a passenger, do you spend a lot time on your phone playing games and stalking people on Facebook? I know I am guilty of those habits! Looking down at your phone or book for too long can create neck pain after a long drive. You could also experience headaches or shoulder aches. Set aside “device free” time on the road. Use a neck pillow to stay comfortable and maintain good form.
These simple and practical tips will help you stay healthier and happier during your holiday travels. Don’t forget to schedule your pre and post-holiday travel appointments with us! We can make sure that you’re aligned and ready for your upcoming road trips. Call us at 765-962-4476 today to schedule an appointment. You are also encouraged to call our office to simply ask any questions about chiropractic.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to treat or provide any medical recommendations. Always consult your doctor or chiropractor about making changes or adjustments to your care and routine.