1. Prepare Your Body – If you’re predisposed to back problems, consider purchasing a lumbar support or pillow before your trip, and give yourself the chance to test it out for the right fit. Prior to leaving, take the time to stretch your muscles.
2. Pack for Success – Be careful when loading and unloading the trunk, minding the old adage to lift with your legs, not your back. Resist the urge to bend over when maneuvering heavy objects, and ask for help before pushing yourself too far.
3. Sit with a Purpose – Good posture is crucial in preventing back and neck pain on the road. Position your seat upright with your legs comfortably extended, so that your head and shoulders are in neutral.
4. Keep Things Moving – Change positions frequently, and consider trying some abdominal tightening exercises as you drive. If it’s safe, use cruise control to relax your right leg and stretch your hamstring while on the road.
5. Break it Up – Plan stops every two hours to allow yourself time to rest, walk around and stretch out cramped muscles. Stretch your hamstrings and quads, as they will tighten up, especially if you’re sitting too close to the wheel and your knees and hips are flexed for hours.
6. Share the Load – Don’t do it alone, if at all possible. Sharing the driving with another adult will allow you to relax both your muscles and your mind while you change positions and recline in the passenger seat.
7. Know When to Stop – If the pain becomes too intense, stop! Rest, ice and lay down with a pillow u
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