Highland Physical Therapy

Preventing Back Pain On A Road Trip Vacation

Few things can sideline you on vacation more than back pain. And since it is road trip season, I thought I would share a few tips to help prevent back pain on such a trip.
1. Pack light, or in several small bags. Few of us are used to lifting heavy suitcases daily. If you are not used to lifting such weight, you could be risking injury. Small bags and boxes are also more efficient for packing into tight spaces.2. Plan on making frequent stops. Getting out of the car and moving around will keep muscles and joints from becoming stiff. Look ahead for points of interest if possible. The stops don’t have to take up much time and can add value to the journey as well as prevent problems down the road.

3. Use a lumbar roll. A lumbar roll or rolled-up towel placed in the small of your back will support the natural curve of your spine. This in turn evenly distributes the compressive forces through the discs and decreases fatigue through the supporting muscles. It makes your seat more comfortable as well.

4. Adjust the car seat to fit your body. Make sure you can reach the accelerator and brake pedals without having to slouch. Adjust the headrest to reach the back of your head without having to lean forward or backward much. If possible, make sure the seat height supports the back of your thighs, with your knees positioned just higher than your hips.

5. Trade off driving if possible. It’s much easier to shift around and stretch as a passenger.

6. Bring your own pillow. You never know what will be provided. Having the right support that you are accustomed to will improve your sleep.

7. Bring a cold pack. It can provide double duty keeping your food cold and alleviating any pain that may arise during your vacation.

8. Empty your back pockets. Sitting on a wallet or phone will cause uneven forces through the pelvis and low back. These forces accumulate over the hours and can later cause pain to the hips or back.

9. Avoid holding your neck forward – such as when looking at your phone. Position electronics or books so that you can see them without bending your neck.

10. Keep your feet on the floor. This position allows your spine to maintain its natural curves. Placing feet on the dash reverses the lumbar curve. And it can cause devastating injuries in the event of an accident.
By following these tips, you will have the best chance of avoiding back pain on the road and enjoying your journey.

How Can We Help You If You Are Dealing With Back Pain That Is Keeping You From Enjoying Your Vacation?
Physical therapists are experts in recognizing and treating problems with the musculoskeletal system. This includes back pain. With their knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, and physiology, physical therapists can help identify the source of your back pain and develop an individualized treatment plan to reduce or eliminate it.

Through treatments such as therapeutic exercise, manual therapy techniques, therapeutic modalities (e.g., heat/cold therapy), patient education on proper body mechanics, and posture correction, physical therapists can alleviate back pain symptoms quickly and effectively so you can get back to enjoying your vacation without worry.

Additionally, physical therapists can advise you on how to prevent future episodes of back pain by teaching you proper lifting techniques for heavy items or assisting with posture correction.

This will help ensure your back is able to handle the activities of daily life, as well as more strenuous activities such as beach volleyball or swimming during your vacation.

Ultimately, physical therapists are there to help you manage and improve your musculoskeletal health so that you can enjoy life’s adventures pain-free!

So if you’re experiencing any type of back pain heading into your vacation, don’t hesitate to contact a physical therapist before it gets worse and ruins your time away from home.

Are You Experiencing Back Pain That Is Going To Keep You From Enjoying Your Vacation?
If you’re struggling with pain and you want a plan to help alleviate it – our team is here to help!
You can get quick, natural pain relief so you don’t need to take pills on a regular basis.

If you are feeling pain or want more examples of ways to stay active to avoid or prevent pain in the future, make sure to contact our team. You can also discover the root cause of the problem, which will mean that you can stop it once and for all, and avoid it coming back in the future.

We also offer a free discovery visit to get the conversation going and help you find the right treatment to help you reduce or eliminate pain.

We are also offering a $27 Back Pain Assessment that will help give you an idea as to what is causing you to experience back pain and the next steps in treating it.

​Reach out to one of our physical therapists at 208-237-2080 for more details on how we can help you manage your pain.

Other Free Resources
Download our Free Back Pain Report, Free Knee Pain Report,  or Free Neck And Shoulder Pain Report
Read Our Blog – Enjoying Gardening While Protecting Your Back
Follow Us On Social Media – Highland Physical Therapy Facebook and Highland PT Instagram