Tips for Driving in the Holidays

With trips to the snow or beach a popular holiday choice, it is likely that many of you will be stuck in your car or even on planes travelling long distances.

Unfortunately, this is not good news for your lower backs or your necks, as our bodies are not designed to maintain static sitting positions for long periods of time. Poor postures especially, when held for long periods of time, will cause an increased load through your vertebrae, discs & ligaments, possibly leading to low back & upper back pain, neck pain & headaches.

Making an effort to sit with good posture can help to reduce this load. To do this:

  • Use a lumbar support or a rolled up towel to support the curve in the small of your back – this will also place your upper back & neck in a better position
  • Keep your backrest relatively upright & as far forward as comfortably possible
  • Have your shoulders gently drawn down & in Gently tuck your chin in

Whilst these tips will help, even the best postures will fatigue eventually. So taking frequent breaks is also very important to keep your back & neck happy. A short break every half an hour is ideal, especially if you’ve had problems with your back or neck in the past.

Some other important tips for driving long distances include:

  • Use cruise control to allow you to change your leg position
  • Vary your hand position on the wheel – if your hands are constantly above shoulder height, you are more likely to get tired through your shoulder, neck and upper back
  • Pump your ankles, squeeze your thigh muscles & tighten your buttocks regularly to keep the blood pumping
  • Have a break when you reach your destination rather than lifting/carrying your bags inside immediately – acute low back & neck injuries often occur at this time

So remember to take good care of your back & neck when travelling to ensure you get the most out of them on your holiday!

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