Have you taken your vacation yet?
In our last post we discussed the American Chiropractic Association’s recommendations for air travel. This time, we’ll be sharing some information about car travel.
We know that it doesn’t matter how comfortable your car might seem, riding hours at a time is killer on your body. It’s important to take breaks as you need them. Listen to your body and your passengers on when you should take breaks to stretch and walk around.
Adjust the seat so you are as close to the steering wheel as comfortably possible. Your knees should be slightly higher than your hips. Place four fingers behind the back of your thigh closest to your knee. If you cannot easily slide your fingers in and out of that space, you need to re-adjust your seat. Consider a back support. Using a support may reduce the incidence of low-back strain and pain. The widest part of the support should be between the bottom of your rib cage and your waistline. Exercise your legs while driving to reduce the risk of any swelling, fatigue or discomfort. Open your toes as wide as you can, and count to 10. Count to five while you tighten your calf muscles, then your thigh muscles, then your gluteal muscles. Roll your shoulders forward and back, making sure to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road. To minimize arm and hand tension while driving, hold the steering wheel at approximately 3 o’clock and 7 o’clock, periodically switching to 10 o’clock and 5 o’clock. Do not grip the steering wheel. Instead, tighten and loosen your grip to improve hand circulation and decrease muscle fatigue in the arms, wrists and hands. While always being careful to keep your eyes on the road, vary your focal point while driving to reduce the risk of eye fatigue and tension headaches. Take rest breaks. Never underestimate the potential consequences of fatigue to yourself, your passengers and other drivers.