Back Pain Relief While Driving

While you are travelling, whether it is sitting in a car or an airplane or another confined space that makes it hard to move and increases your back pain, it is can be hard to relieve.

Many people stop traveling or become fearful because they have back issues that flare up because of all the sitting and the agony is just not worth it.  We are going to go over a few things that help relieve that back pain.

The main thing to realize about what we are going to talk and go through is that the things we talk about doing and the tips we give you need to be done before your back starts to hurt.  Right when you sit down in the car or in the airplane, you need to start doing the things we are going to go through.

If you wait for you back to start hurting, it will be too late.  The idea is to do these things throughout the trip to help minimize the onset of the pain.

The first thing that can be done is pelvic tilts.

To start you want to slouch down.  Which yes is counter intuitive when you are talking about the back and posture.  But the slouch is important.

Then after you slouch, you are going to sit up as straight as you can.  You want to make sure that you are not just sitting up straight and slouching forward in your shoulders, but you are going to have make sure that you are using your pelvis.

To make sure that you are using your pelvis and not just your upper back, put your hands on your pelvis.  Make sure you can feel it roll forward and backward.

Make sure you do this process nice and slow.  You don’t have to hold each position for a specific time frame, but you want to go nice and slow through each posture.

To see an example of this and what to do and what not to do, watch the video below.

Currently, it is important to stress the importance of standing.  Taking a break, if you are driving in the car.  Stopping on the side of the road and taking a short break to move around.  Standing up and moving around if you are on a plane is essential, even if it a walk to the bathroom, if you don’t have to use it.

Getting up and moving is extremely important. 

The second thing you can do to hold off on back pain and to relieve it when it comes on is a gentle stretch. 

Start by crossing your ankle over your knee.  Now if you’re driving this is going to prove to be a little bit more difficult but you can do this while stopped at a light or stopped in traffic.

With your ankle resting on your knee sit up nice and straight.  You may feel a stretch just doing that.  If you don’t feel a stretch with just doing that, then as you are sitting up straight, then hinge forward at your hips.  For an example of how to do the stretch, click here.

Then switch legs and put the other ankle over the knee.  Again, not to be done while driving.

Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and doing it 6 times on each side is ideal but because you will be in a car or confined place.  So, hold it if you can.

To make this stretch a little more effective, you can have a tennis ball or a lacrosse ball under the butt cheek.  You won’t be able to move it around but if you sit right on it for a minute or so and then move it to a different position.

You can do this for a few minutes and then take the ball out.  Don’t sit with it for the entire trip.  It can make you sore and eventually cause you more pain.

The final thing you want to do is move your legs as often as possible.  If you’re sitting in the car or you’re sitting in the airplane you want to stretch your legs out or pump your feet.

Bring the leg in and out, bending and straightening the knee slowly.  Then you can point your toes and then flex them.

This is going to allow blood flow to come into the back of the legs, to the hamstring muscles which can get tight, and can contribute to back pain. 

While these things are not going to cure back pain, it will help relieve back pain when you are stuck in a seated position and can’t move.  If any of these exercises cause more pain, then stop immediately and consult your healthcare professional.

If you have questions about your back pain and want to get answers and live in Montgomery or Bucks County Pennsylvania, then click here to sign up for our free back pain workshop. 

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