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3 Ways to Alleviate Back Pain After a Long Drive

Whether you’re delivering the millions of packages being shipped across the country or on a spur of the moment road trip, we’ve all found ourselves spending a little more time behind the wheel over the last year. While the open road can be relaxing, sitting for hours and not moving or stretching your muscles can take a major toll on the body. Here, we take a look at some common reasons people experience back pain and soreness after a long drive, along with some easy ways you can fix them today.

1. Invest In A Car Seat Cushion

The key to avoiding back pain is having a strong foundation. By having a more comfortable base layer when sitting, you have a better path to improving your posture, seating position, and other seat adjustments in your vehicle. Seat cushions designed for the car, such as the Purple Simply Seat Cushion, allow for you to relieve pressure point pain that can sometimes come when a seat is made to fit most people, but you just don’t feel completely ‘like most people.’

When you’re sitting up, all of your weight is on a small footprint, so you need a surface that is a little firmer and allows you to float, versus sinking to the bottom of your seat. Most of the seats in cars are built to hold you in place. Inserting a seat cushion gives you much-needed pressure relief with a low-profile application so that you’re not bumping your head on the top of the car. When you have those pressure points relieved and you can get your posture correct, you’ll be able to drive for hours in comfort.

2. Personalize Your Seat

Adjusting your car seat (i.e. back angle, distance from the pedals, lumbar support, etc.) can have a major impact on your comfort level while on the road. Sometimes an adjustment for a short trip might be a little different than how you set your seat for a long drive. Be sure to adjust your steering wheel, mirrors, and everything in your cabin so that you can use them without straining or having to make uncomfortable, repetitive motions that are stressful on your body. Place your drink and snacks in the right place so that you have easy access, but make sure to not over-indulge. Get your tunes (or podcast) connected, driving directions piped in, and enjoy the road.

3. Watch Out for Your Red Flags

There are some aspects of comfort that are very similar for everyone across the board (amazingly, your highest pressure points—your butt bones—are very nearly spaced the same as everyone else’s, regardless of other “backside padding” you might have). However, there are a lot of other things that make your comfort needs unique and special. Be aware of those things that are your own red-flags of discomfort. Does your lower back fatigue too quickly? Is your greatest pain the pressure you feel in your seat? Sometimes, adding some stretches and exercises to your preparation routine will make other changes even more effective in your efforts to improve comfort.

Your back and overall comfort are essential when it comes to being on the road for long-distance drives. Taking the proper measures will go a long way toward making your next trip a more relaxing and rewarding one.

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About the Author

Russ Whatcott is Purple’s Senior Director of Innovation where he spearheads new product development. As an expert in comfort innovation, Russ shares his insights on how to make your next road trip a little more comfortable. Read the latest from Purple here.