How to Survive the Long Car Ride

Andrew: Hey there, it’s Andrew again. I’m… Say hi, Eden.

Eden: Hi.

Andrew: She’s stuffing her face.

Eden: Shush.

Andrew: And Tanya. So we are on a car ride home from South Carolina and…

Eden: They didn’t let me finish my dinner.

Andrew: …I wanted to share some tips with you on how to survive that long car ride that either you’re making on your way to family for Easter, or you’re on your way home from spring break, some tips that will help you from having back pain to spoil your…when you get to where you’re going. Some of my suggestions are taking frequent rest breaks, at least every two hours is the longest you should go. One hour would be optimal, but every two hours. It’s not really gonna add too much time to your trip if you stop for five minutes and stretch out. When you do pull over, if you’re driving by yourself, make sure you stop at a well-lit area, where it’s well lit and lots of people around. Get out, and stand up, and stretch out.

Tanya: [inaudible 00:01:20].

Andrew: This blog probably would’ve been better if I was standing outside the car. However, we’re trying to get home from South Carolina right now so, we’ll just make do and we’ll come back to this another day. So when you do get up out of the car, my suggestion is you reach for the sky and stretch all the way out. Second suggestion is, is you do a hip flexor stretch, where you put one leg behind you in kinda semi split squat, and you tighten your glutes, and you tighten your abs, and you stretch the front of your thigh. And hold that for three minutes, and then do the other side. And I also like to bend over and touch my toes and do some twists to make sure that everything gets unkinked from sitting in the car in one position for such a long time. I also find it’s best if you do have multiple drivers, that you take turns driving, so the other person can kinda lay back. We happened to rent a nice Chrysler 300, and I can lay almost completely flat, so I’m here with Eden, and I’ll come back up to you. So I know cars are a pain, that’s one of my biggest things is sitting in a car ride for too long. Same thing goes with sitting in airlines that…get up as frequently as you need to. Don’t sit in one spot. What I also like to do is…another tip, do some glute squeezes, where you clench your glutes. Try and keep the blood flowing in your tushie, as well as, you know, moving my feet around in circles, obviously with cruise control on, paying attention to where you’re going.

And I can’t think of anything else right now. But so in summary, take a break every two hours, get up, walk around. Next, you wanna, when you do get up and get out of the car, you want to stretch your back out, reach up for the sky, bend over, touch your toes, twist to the right, twist to the left, and then do some hip flexor stretches because your hip flexors will get nice and tight from being in that seated position. Getting comfortable in the car is always a hard part for me, a long history of back pain, and I can do pretty much anything, but sitting in the car is my least favorite thing to do. Luckily I have a short commute, but I don’t think it really matters that type of car. I mean, bucket seats are probably, you know, ideal. Sitting in a sports car’s not gonna…has never been good for my back. We sat, drove in a Ford Explorer that was way high up, and even that wasn’t the greatest. And then sitting in this luxury car that had like eight-way moving seats, tried to condition, so I had myself in a slightly reclined position and the steering wheel extended out. My seat slightly tilted backwards, to keep me from sliding out of the chair and that’s about it.

So that does it for my road trip tips to how to maximize your car ride and minimize your back pain while driving. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, go ahead and reply to this Facebook post, pr reach out to me at and submit your questions there. You can also request free back pain tip support and learn a little bit more about tips and exercises pertaining to maintaining a healthy, pain-free back. Get your back on the road to a healthy lifestyle. So that’s it. Thanks for watching. Enjoy your holiday weekend. Be safe coming home. Peace out.

Andrew Dombek, PT, MSPT, CMTPT, CGFI

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