Long-Distance Driving and Chiropractic Treatment Options
If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel of your car then you are at a higher risk for spinal disorders. The reason for this is the way car seats are designed, which isn’t very supportive of the spine. You’d think with all the engineering that goes into cars, and the price you pay for them, that car seats would be better but it’s really up to you to go the extra mile and ensure your spine’s health during your commute. Here are some practical tips to help you keep your spine healthy behind the wheel of your car.
Check out some treatment options for driving pains. Along with alleviating some of your current pains, chiropractic treatment can also work as a preventative tool to protect your body for any future driving trips.
As you drive for long distances, your neck has very little support. Not only do you need to keep your head up straight while you drive, but you may find yourself constantly turning your head to look in mirrors, other lanes, or down streets during intersections. The pressure and pain on your neck could become worse during longer trips.
Treatment options include a specific focus on the neck muscles. A chiropractor may perform stretches and movements to relieve pressure in the neck and provide relaxation for your body. In some cases, a chiropractor may crack your neck to release bubbles and built-up tension.
During a full exam, a doctor will feel the neck, massage specific areas, and figure out what areas are worse off due to the driving. Along with the exam, a chiropractor may give some tips to relieve neck pain and provide more comfort while you drive.
When you sit in the same position for an extended amount of time, the angle of a car seat can put a lot of pressure on your hips. Your hips may swell up and cause pain. You will likely notice the pain when you lift yourself up out of the car and walk on your feet again. Along with inflamed hips, your hips could be out of place.
A chiropractor can lay you on your side and provide you with a hip alignment treatment. When you get your hips realigned, the pressure releases and pain subsides. Through years of experience, a chiropractor can recognize hip issues. Along with alignment, physical treatments provide relief and can build up flexibility for future driving trips.
Car seats may provide cushioning, but they do not offer the best comfort for long periods of time. If you lean forward while you drive and spend multiple hours on the road, you will put a lot of pressure on your spine. Areas of the spine could become damaged and result in discomfort while you drive or complete other activities.
A spine alignment is similar to a hip alignment. A chiropractor will perform a full exam on your back and provide you with professional treatment. A doctor will adjust specific areas of the spine to reduce pressure and help form your back in a proper position.
General massage treatments on your back will also reduce pain and swelling. Lower back pain is common for long-distance drives as well. Massage treatment provided by a chiropractor will provide some relief. A chiropractor may recommend back support in the form of a seat cushion or a support piece you wear on your back.
If you drive long distances for a career, then back support could become a part of your daily driving routine.
Leg and Knee Treatment
When you drive, your legs are placed in a bent position for a majority of the trip. When you get out of a vehicle, you may notice your knee feels tight or locked up. Your leg joints could have aches and pains. A chiropractor will provide treatment in the form of physical therapy.
In physical therapy, you will have target treatments on leg areas. A doctor will stretch out your legs, improve flexibility, and heal damaged muscles. You may also learn some stretches to perform at home. If you get into the regular habit of stretching, you can reduce the pains you suffer from on long road trips.
In some cases, you will also use the stretches after a trip to loosen muscles again. Extended physical therapy can guide you along the way.
Driving for extended amounts of time means your arms reach out to grab the steering wheel. A lot of the movements and positions put pressure directly on the shoulder muscles. You could suffer from swollen tendons, pinched nerves, or general muscle pains.
A chiropractor’s first step is a full exam of your shoulder. A doctor will stretch your arm and shoulder in multiple directions to see when pain occurs and what points may have swelling. A gentle massage, shoulder cracking, and in-depth physical therapy are all ideal treatment options for shoulder pain.
If you spend a lot of time in your car, or if you drive for a living, it’s really important to speak with your chiropractor about it. They can not only help to keep your spine in proper alignment but also give you some more tips to help keep you healthy on the road.
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