Summer is here and the chances are long distances in the car are on your agenda?

This can be quite daunting for many, especially if you are prone to back ache. Here are a few things to think about and help you get from A to B without discomfort.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then you can begin

Take the time to ask yourself if you’re comfortable before you set off on your trip. The smallest niggle can turn into discomfort further down the road.

  • Fill your boot not your pockets. Sitting on your wallet, phone, or anything else may throw your spine out of alignment.
  • Sit up straight with your knees slightly higher than your hips and prevent slouching by keeping your chin pulled in so that your head sits straight on top of your spine.
  • Sitting on a car seat pillow or coccyx cushion to provide more padding between you and the road

Many people find that applying cold or heat therapy is a good way to alleviate pain on a long road trip.

  • Cold therapy can help reduce inflammation and swelling. Consider bringing a cooler to store reusable ice packs or other cold therapy packs.
  • Heat therapy can help increase blood flow and relax the muscles.

Is your vehicle fit for the journey?

Bumps in the road can jar your spine and increase pain. For a smoother ride, consider:

  • Replacing worn shocks to limit the bounce in the car
  • Replacing worn tires to reduce vibration or shaking

Break up the journey

Sitting in one position in a car will stiffen up your back muscles and can lead to aching and possibly muscle spasm. Everyone should ideally take at least a 15-minute break for every 2 hours of driving. If you’re prone to back pain, you may want to take breaks more frequently, such as every 30 to 60 minutes. When you take your break try to incorporate some stretches and a walk.

Arrived and ready to relax!

You might feel worn out and reading to go straight to bed or sit on the sofa after a day of driving, but ideally, this isn’t the time to sit. If you are lucky enough to have a pool at your destination, get in and have a good swim around. If not then, as when you took your breaks, do some stretches, and take a walk to bring those muscles you haven’t been using while sitting back into action.


If you have some niggles before your planned trip, now is the time to see one of our chiropractors and get it sorted before you head off.