Road trips can be great fun, especially when ending with relaxation, delicious food, and good times with family; however they can also lead to stiffness and back pain. By taking a little time along your route to perform a few stretches, you can significantly cut down on stiffness and back pain. Both passengers and drivers can reduce their discomfort.
The driver has it especially rough since they have to face forward, watch the road, and keep their hands on the wheel. Here are a few ideas for exercises to do while still driving safely. An easy one is to shrug your shoulders toward your ears and then roll them back. This will loosen up your neck and upper back muscles and can be repeated as needed. Another good stretch is to spread your shoulder blades by keeping one hand on the wheel and stretching the opposite arm across your body. Crawl your hand along the door with your right hand or passenger seat with your left hand to stretch as far as you can. A final good stretch for drivers is to take one arm, leaving the other on the wheel, and place it on the shoulder blade of the same side. Point your elbow toward the roof of the car and deepen the stretch by using the back of your seat. Repeat with the opposite arm.
Practice Stretching Regularly to Avoid the Need for EMG/NCS Testing
Passengers have a little more flexibility in the types of stretches they can do. Stretch your upper back by sitting tall and leaning your head to the right, then roll your head forward so that your chin almost touches your chest. Then swivel your head to the left and repeat as needed. Stretch your whole back by sitting forward and rotating to the left. Grab the door or arm of your chair. Hold for several seconds and repeat on the other side. Enjoy a nice hip stretch by placing your right foot flat on the floor and lifting your left ankle onto your right knee. Lean forward to feel the stretch and repeat with the other side.
It is also a very good idea to stretch at every gas station or rest stop. Stretch your pectorals by standing in a doorway, placing your palms at a 90 degree angle on the doorframe and leaning into the stretch. Reach down and touch your toes to stretch your hamstrings and stretch your hips by getting in the lunge position and pushing your pelvis forward. Repeat on the other leg. Take care of your body on your road trip and you will feel much better when you reach your destination.
If you can’t get relief from chronic pain from regular stretching and other exercises, you should talk to your doctor about EMG/NCS testing. Contact Precision Medical Group to find out how to get a referral.