I thought I had sent this blog out, but apparently I didn’t. People are still getting those last end of summer trips in or bringing your children to college, so this is still a good read for tips to reduce aches.
As we near the end of the summer season, the mad rush to get those last trips in begins, whether in a car or plane or train. You may be sitting for hours, which means you may get stiff or acquire aches and pains. You can combat this with these six tips we will discuss. These tips also help when sitting at your desk/computer.
1. Sitting in good posture
This means sitting on both your sit bones. Your buttocks should be back far enough that you feel you are sitting on the back of the seat. Automatically this keeps your posture upright and in line without you having to work so hard. If you are short, your feet may not touch the floor so put a stool/book/bag under them. If you are at a desk, your elbows should be at 90 degrees with the wrists in the same line as the forearms.
2. Use a lumbar cushion/roll
This just adds support to the back and keeps your spine in alignment. If you fatigue, you begin to slide forward with the buttocks. The roll keeps you upright and makes you aware if you slide. It also takes over for fatigued muscles. To make your own roll, grab 2 hand towels and roll them up so they are about 8″ in diameter. Tape it so it stays together. The roll goes into the curve of your lower back once your buttocks are all the way back in the seat. It should feel like it fits and not spilling over the arch in your back.
3. Take Breaks
Try to get up every 20 minutes and walk around for a minute if you are at your desk. If you are in a plane, get up every hour if you can or at least stand at your seat. In the car, also try to stop for breaks every hour and walk around for 5 minutes. This helps relieve the stiffness in the joints and spine and “relubricates” them. It also increases the blood flow.
The best stretch to do after sitting for a long period is to put your hands in the small of your back for support and bend backwards. This adds more extension, sitting is flexion, to the spine. It should be painfree, so some may need to limit the motion. You can also walk backwards. Just be sure there aren’t any dogs around who may want to bite you in the buttocks.
Traveling in any form significantly dehydrates you. Carry water bottles with you and drink as often as you can. If you are feeling thirsty, you are already beginning to dehydrate. Dehydration can also cause headaches, fatigue, and poor concentration.
6. See a Physical Therapist
If you follow these tips and you are still having issues with neck/back pain or stiffness in the joints, see a Physical Therapist who can assess where the root cause of the problem is coming from. They can educate you on your movement patterns and positions and set you up with an exercise program that will alleviate what your body is going through, which in turn will give you strength to support the spine and joints.
Click here to schedule a Free 20 minute Discovery call to address your issues and how we can help you return to a fully functional, mobile life and prevent recurrences.
To Your Health,