At ProActive Physical Therapy and Wellness, we have clients come in all the time with neck and shoulder pain, especially after they’ve been traveling recently and more specifically in the car for hours on hours…
How often do you find yourself rubbing your neck while sitting in the driver’s seat after hours into a car ride?
Or do you feel the tension in your neck grow because your hands have been at 10 and 2 for so long on the way to your family’s house to celebrate the holiday season?
Here at ProActive Physical Therapy and Wellness, we want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you so you can enjoy the time you get to spend with your family over the holidays!
Just about everyone experiences neck and shoulder pain at some point in their lifetime. While it can be caused by trauma or medical conditions, it can also be due to stress and strain on the muscles that support the neck, or to the nerves or bones in the neck.
Typical activities that can result in a stiff neck include holding your head in an extended position and using your arms and upper body for long periods of time — that’s a pretty good description of driving a car.
With that being said….
Here’s a Few Tips To Help Avoid Neck And Shoulder Pain While You’re On Long Car Rides:
Start With Good Posture (Lean Back A Little)
The angle of your seat back should be a little greater than a perpendicular 90 degrees. At 100 to 110 degrees, the seat will put the least pressure on your back. Leaning too far back forces you to push your head and neck forward, which can cause neck and shoulder pain and tingling in the fingers.
Support Your Head
Adjust your headrest so that it touches the middle part of the back of your head.
Avoid Straining Your Eyes
Driving with poor vision can lead to eyestrain and cause you to lean your neck forward, which puts pressure on your neck and shoulder muscles. If you’re straining to see while driving normally, you need to get your vision checked. It sounds obvious, but make sure your windshield is clean and your windshield wipers work properly in order for you to see clearly.
Just Cruise (BUT safely…)
If you’re driving on long stretches of road such as a highway or interstate, cruise control allows you to rest your feet on the floor and take some pressure off your back which in turn relieves stress on your neck and shoulders.
And for the most obvious one…
Take A Break
If you start to get a stiff neck, are feeling neck pain, or better yet want to prevent it, pull into the next rest stop. Do some stretching and walk off the kinks. Not only will this greatly help reduce the tension in your neck and shoulders, it gives you a chance to grab a snack, use the restroom or build more memories of the trip!
If you’re like most people, you’ll spend a lot of time behind the wheel traveling this holiday season. You can avoid driving with neck pain by maintaining good posture and making driving adjustments that take the strain off the muscles supporting your neck.
What Do I Do If My Pain Is Severe?
Would You Like To See A Physical Therapist For Free?
We realize some people want more than just some free health tips… That’s why we offer expert advice about the worry and frustration of life-changing aches and pains – for FREE, in under 45 minutes.
We call this a Discovery Visit.
Here are just a few of the things you will learn in one of our free Discovery Visit sessions…
Our Discovery Visits are great for anyone that may be “unsure” if physical therapy is right for them, and they give you the opportunity to ask questions and see for yourself if we can help you.
We’ve got 6 Discovery Visits available this week. If you would like one of our Discovery Visits, please get in touch with the clinic using the contact details included below, and mention to our ProActive team member who answers the phone that you would like to see a physical therapist for free.
We’re Here To Help…
If you’re in pain and would like to talk to us about getting some help, some specialist advice, or if you are looking for a diagnosis, remember we are always here to help you…. and we’re offering you the chance to have your first session with a physical therapist for FREE.
If you would like to get one of our limited Discovery Visit slots, please click here to complete our inquiry form or CALL us on 502.512.2165
P.S. Do you know someone that has been dealing with annoying neck and shoulder pain?
Who do you know that is always telling you about their aches and pains? We would love to help them live a pain-free life too.
That person could be someone who you live with, work with, or an extended friend or family member, who is maybe suffering with some kind of ache or pain that we can fix.