Back Pain Tips for your Easter Road Trip

By Healthweb | April 17, 2014

With the Easter long weekend coming up, many of you will be going on a long car ride to your favourite holiday destinations.

While the car ride might be a great way to travel and have fun with the family, they can lead to serious back pain if you aren’t doing the right things. Here are a couple of tips that might help your lower back pain and leave you arriving at your holiday destination feeling fresh.


1. Getting Comfortable

From the moment you hop into the car, take the time to correct your posture and work out a comfortable position. The little niggling pain that may initially seem insignificant, can lead to much more serious back pain later on.

Most car seats provide little to no back support. It is important to add the support with the help of a towel or pillow. Use a rolled up towel or pillow at the small curve in your lower back. It should feel supportive and comfortable. Specialty pillows and cushions can also be bought in place of a towel.

Remove items such as phones and wallets from back pockets. They may place unnecessary pressure on sore, tight soft tissue, which increases pain.

Choose a seat position closer to the steering wheel so your arms are not over stretching and placing further stress on your lumbar spine, shoulder, neck and wrists. Your distance to the steering wheel should still remain in a position where it doesn’t compromise your safety.

Adjust your seating and position regularly. Moving and stretching out the body will help you stay more comfortable.


2.  Heat Therapy

Using heat can reduce muscle spasm and offer some relief for your pain.

Try any one of these heat therapy options:

–          Fill up a hot water before you leave home and refill it if need be at bathroom stopovers.

–          Heating pads with electrical card adaptors are available where all you have to do is plug it into the cigarette lighter.

–          Look into other heating options such as wraps and warm gel packs.


3. Bring and Ice Pack- Alternate Heat

If you are taking a trusty esky on your holiday trip, stash an ice pack inside.

When experiencing acute back pain, applying ice to the area for 20 minutes can help relieve painful symptoms in some cases.

Any back pain inflammation can be treated with ice therapy as it helps numb sore tissues, decrease back swelling and tissue damage.

Alternating between ice and heat is an easy and effective way to relieve back pain.

Remember that any extreme heat or ice exposure to the skin can cause damage so keep your ice and heat pack wrapped up in a towel or similar protective cover.


4. Exercise

Exercise is often a helpful way to reduce back pain!

Movement keeps muscles, ligaments, discs and joints healthy by improving blood flow and keeping nutrient distribution into disc space.

Take the chance at rest stops to stretch out your limbs and have a walk around. It is recommend to break up your car ride every 2 hours. Stop, stretch and move your body before getting back into the car.


At the end of the day, walk around and do the exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist. If you have not got specific exercises, call us on 8443 3355 and we can help you.

Visit our Back Pain page for further information