A common question we’re asked at the clinic is:
“I’m looking for a little advice about how to manage a driving trip this weekend. I’ll be in the car (driving) for 4-5 hours, depending on traffic. Any suggestions?”
This question was from a person recovering from lumbar disc surgery, but the answer is applicable to anyone with back pain aggravated by sitting.
There is a simple answer, but it is often harder discipline oneself to implement than it should be.
Are you driver or passenger? Either way, the answer is to not be in any one position for very long. Ideally move every 20-30 minutes. If passenger, it is easy, adjust the seat back to multiple angles so you are in many positions. If driver, it is more challenging. Ideally you would stop every hour, get out and move. It can be as simple as pulling off of an exit ramp, getting out and walking around the car a couple of times. The simple act of standing, walking, moving the spine through a comfortable, gentle range of motion will restore circulation, relieve pressure to the spinal discs and joints, and help a lot.
20-30 minutes extra on a trip beats the heck out of 2-3 days of discomfort and needless suffering.