Helpful Articles from Connect Chiropractic

10 Top Tips to Enjoy your Easter Road Trip

driver lumbar support

Are you hitting the road for an Easter escape? Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, long drives can cause back and neck pain, fatigue, and headaches. And, as everyone’s immune systems battle with Covid, colds, flus and all the other illnesses around at the moment, it’s important to look after yourself as you embark on your road trip.

Here are our 10 tips to help you stay healthy and enjoy your Easter holiday

1. Lumbar Support

Use a low back support for your car seat to make driving less of a strain on your spine and legs.

2. Break it up!

If you’re driving a long distance, take a break every two hours. Just like a computer system reboot, stretching your legs and body while giving your eyes and brain a rest, enables you to feel refreshed and ready to take on the next stage of your trip. 

Please don’t push on if you start to feel tired or sleepy while driving. According to the TAC fatigue, a 15-minute power nap can temporarily reduce fatigue by one-two hours.

3. Refuel

Just like your car, your brain needs three things to work well:

  • good fuel
  • plenty of oxygen
  • water

Choose quality snacks and keep your fluids up; this will help you stay ‘on the ball’ as you drive long-distances. High-sugar foods can pep you up for a short time but, without good fuel like nuts, fruit and vegetables, your sugar and energy levels are likely to crash again before you reach your destination.

4. Pack A Pillow

It’s always nice to have your own pillow! As well as being a lovely home comfort, using a good pillow that supports your back and neck is important to avoid strain or injury while you are away. You never know what the pillows will be like at your accommodation, so be prepared and enjoy restful sleep during your holiday.

If you’re a passenger, rest your pillow on your lap in the car. This stops your arms and shoulders from dragging down, thus reducing tension and the chance of developing headaches.

5. Pack and Stack Carefully

You don’t want to hurt yourself before you leave home! When packing the car, lift heavy bags and boxes with your knees bent and the weight as close to you as possible (not leaning over).

Be careful not to pack so much that you lose your line of sight and create bigger ‘blind spots’ for your driving perspective. Before you leave, take a moment to assess your mirrors and head-check positions to ensure you have good vision when you’re on the road.

6. Change It Up

Long road trips are especially challenging for drivers as the ‘wide open road’ can sometimes create a hypnotic effect highway-hypnosis. Unless you make an effort to regularly change your visual focus, it’s easy for your brain to go into ‘auto-pilot’ and stop paying as much attention to what’s happening around you. While this is not the same as being sleepy, it is important to stay focussed by talking to passengers, listening to music, opening the window and so on.

The more alert you are, the better your response and reaction time will be in the event of a road hazard.

7. Motion Sickness

Preparation is key, especially if you are travelling with children who may feel ‘car sick’. Have ginger tablets or peppermint lollies on hand to help ease motion sickness and nausea. Pack ‘vomit bags’ in easy reach of all seats and encourage passengers to spend time looking out the window, not fixated on their phones or books for long periods.

8. Figure-8’s for Footsies

Sitting for long periods can affect your circulation and blood pressure. A simple exercise like rolling your ankle in a ‘figure 8’ (one foot at a time and when safe to do so) can get the circulation in your legs pumping.

9. Don’t Sit On Your Wallet

Remember to take your wallet out of your back pocket when driving as it can create pelvic and spinal misalignments which lead to tension, stress and pain.

10. Relax, Just Do It!

Holidays, ironically, can be a stressful time. Frayed tempers, poor concentration, and distractions can cause drivers to do silly things. Stay reasonable, rational, and compassionate to ensure it is a safe and enjoyable holiday for all.

Our Connect Chiropractic team wish you a happy Easter break. Enjoy your holiday and stay safe on the roads!

Chiropractic care is an effective, natural, drug-free alternative that can help relieve and heal neck and back pain. If you’re planning a long drive, book a pre-holiday consultation with one of our Chiropractors on 03 9512 5882.

Dr Nicole Hudson

Principal Chiropractor | Connect Chiropractic

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