Back pain is something that none of us want to go through, but unfortunately, a lot of us do experience it. From dull aches, to sharp sensations, back pain is not only painful, but it is uncomfortable as well.
The thing about back pain is that there are so many things that can trigger it. Anything from overworking to sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause your back to turn on you. From these, the most common tends to be sitting (yes, sadly it is true). Not to worry, if you are stuck in a situation where you much sit for a prolonged period of time there are a plethora of things you can do to alleviate and prevent back pain!
Plan on going on a road trip?
Road trips are all fun and laughs until you hit that mark when you are a few hours in and you can no longer find a comfortable position to sit in. The last thing many people think about in this instance is posture, but trust me, it helps to consider it in the long run! If you are planning on going on a road trip in the near future, LUMO has great tips in this article they wrote all about road trips to ensure you don’t start your trip off with a bad back (sorry, can’t really aid with the car sickness!).
- Position Your Body Comfortably in the Vehicle
Prior to embarking on your trip, adjust the seats carefully to maximize support for your body’s contours, and notably the lower back (lumbar) region. Car seat design has come a long way within the past 25 years or so, as today’s vehicles afford you with multiple seat adjustment opportunities combined with added comfort.
If you are driving, sit close to the wheel, as prolonged arm extending puts unnecessary stress on your spine and back. Remove objects from your back pockets such as wallets, keys or Smartphones, as they may place pressure on your posterior spine, leading to lower back pain flare-ups. Correct posture also comes into play with respect to more-comfortably positioning yourself in a car’s seat, and we will address that topic more in a moment. In a nutshell, if your body feels uncomfortable while seated, listen to what it is telling you.
- Add the Travel Partners of Heat and Cold to Your Road Trip
If low back pain has already “crashed” your road trip party, use heat or cold applied to the afflicted area to take away the discomfort while seated in the car. On most road trips, you and your travel mates will have a cooler. Rotate two or more ice packs in there, and apply one of them while riding in the vehicle. Cold has been found to reduce lower back inflammation, while further numbing the pain of sore and stressed soft tissues.
Conversely, WebMD recommends heat to soothe the lower back area when pain rears its ugly head. For example, bring a heating pad along on your next road trip with a power converter that can be inserted into the on board cigarette lighter or 12V ports. Place it between the car seat’s back, and your lower back, while sitting. Note: Always wear your seat belt and shoulder harness while using a cold pack or heating pad!
- Use Proper Posture to Reduce the Probability of Back Pain Flare-Ups
According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most common causes of lower back pain recurrences is improper posture. Again, our bodies were designed to sit and stand up straight, with our shoulders up and back, and chin out. Riding in a vehicle for hours while on a road trip, with your body in a scrunched position, may cause a number of negative physiological effects.
Correct posture relieves pressure off of your lower back’s spine and soft tissues promotes better oxygen intake and blood circulation and releases healthy chemicals into your body’s system. There are no negatives to utilizing good posture throughout the day, as nature intended, and especially when riding in a car during a road trip while striving to reduce the odds of feeling the nagging signs of lower back pain.
LUMO is a company that sells a variety of every day tech products that can aid in helping you move better. Whether you are trying to achieve that perfect posture or you need a boost for that morning run, LUMO is there to aid you. The products easily connect to apps on your phone and can be used on the go!
Does your job have you sitting all day?
A lot of individuals have a job where they are sitting for prolonged periods of time and cannot really do the job any other way (I don’t really see that many running, on-the-go office works on the clock!). Yes, work has to get done, but that doesn’t mean your back has to suffer. If you are in a position where you are required to sit a majority of the day, do not fear, Hal Johnson from Bodybreak shares some tips on how to combat that back pain in this article.
- Stretch and Take Movement Breaks
Stretch/Movement Breaks are a MUST every 15 to 20 minutes if you sit at a desk, work at a computer or watch TV. Stand up stretch and walk. It is not only good for your body but it can boost your brain power by triggering areas of your brain that help you learn, memorize, concentrate and problem solve.
- Be Mindful of Your Sitting Posture
Sitting places greater pressure on your spine than standing or walking. Even when you sit upright, the weight of your upper body exerts around 50 percent more pressure on your lower spine than when standing. If you sit slouched over, the pressure on your spine rises to 150 percent greater than when standing.
What to build back strength and ward off that pesky pain?
A more obvious activity that can cause back pain is working out. You are activating your muscles and joints and any wrong movement can trigger unwanted pain. This is especially true if you have limited mobility in your back. Not to worry, there are ways you can strengthen your back! Single leg deadlifts are a great way to build you back strength and aid your posture! Joel Seedman demonstrates how to properly perform this movement and how it can help (don’t worry, you don’t need to do them with 100 pound dumbbells ;)).
Back pain doesn’t have to limit you- not to sound like a bad ad! Although there are many factors that trigger back pain, there are many solutions to combat it!