How to Alleviate Sciatica & Back Pain on a Summer Road Trip

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happy family on road tripFor people with sciatica or any other type of back pain, riding in a car can be a painful experience, particularly if you’re riding for an hour or more. Bumpy roads and uncomfortable positions with limited freedom of movement will challenge your pain management capabilities.

There’s no reason to stay home or suffer in pain, however. Here are some easy, common-sense steps you can take when planning a long trip in the car to keep your sciatica under control.

Be Comfortable

While you’re planning and before you leave, take extra time to ensure you’ll be comfortable from the moment you leave until you arrive. Even a small irritant at the beginning of a long trip can become a severe condition down the road. Keep your pockets free from items that may cause you to sit with your spine out of alignment.

Planning your summer vacation around your sciatica doesn’t mean staying home as long as you keep a few basic tips in mind.

Sit Up Straight

Sometimes the best treatments for low back pain aren’t related to medication at all, but instead rely on simple posture changes:

  • Sit up straight, with your knees resting a bit higher than your hips.
  • Keep your chin held up so that your head sits directly on top of your spine, improving your posture.
  • If you’re driving, sit as close to the steering wheel as you can to avoid the need to reach for the wheel.
  • Use a cushion designed for your sciatica or a small pillow, rolled-up scarf or folded clothing item between your lower back and the seat to support the inward curve of your lower back.

Cool Down Your Back

Using an ice pack can help calm back pain and ease pain from sciatica. Throw a few ice packs in the cooler to use on your back in case you have a flare-up of sciatica pain on the road.