Written by Dana Goodfellow, RMT, D.Ac. Owner – Quinte Mind & Body
Now that fall is upon us and the beautiful colours of nature are everywhere in sight, this usually calls for frequent excursions and
road trips. Most of us hop in the car and take advantage of visiting the cities, cottages, trails and beautiful wine country we live so close to. Whether it’s just for the day or for an extended period of time, you want to avoid those aches and pains that come with driving long distances.
Here are my top five tips for preventing driving stiffness and pain:
1. Properly adjust your seat and headrest. You should continue the rule of 90 degrees with each joint when you are seated. This means your hips and elbows should be as close to 90 degrees of flexion as you can get them. Your head should be straight forward, creating that 90 degree angle at your chin, not angled up or down. Make sure your head is actually in line with your shoulders and resting against your headrest. We often extend our neck and head forward when driving, this creates strain and bad posture, which turns into pain and headaches.
2. Perform easy and safe stretches when possible. When you are at a stop light is a good time to do simple neck stretches and re-correct your posture.
3. Take frequent breaks to get out of the car and stretch your lower body and walk around. This promotes blood flow and loosens joints that will become stiff.
4. If you have heated seats, use them for lower body pain. Even in the hot weather having the heat on our muscles in our low back and glutes will prevent and ease any stiffness and tension in muscles.
5. Always plan! If you are driving for a long period of time, make sure you stretch your body well before you get in the car. This will help in the long run and prevent pain from occurring.
If you feel numbness and tingles in any of your extremities, shoulders, glutes or low back while driving, make sure you schedule an appointment with a health care provider. This is usually due to a nerve compression and is easily treatable if caught early. If you are feeling these symptoms or any other that concern you, feel free to contact our office. We would be happy to take care of you.
Dana can be reached at quintemindandbody.com
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