Car rides, long or short, give your body the chance to get stiff as you are sitting still for a period of time. If you cannot take a break to get out of the car to stretch, there are several stretches you can do in the car to loosen up those stiff muscles.
- Upper back stretch
Raise your arms to the top of the steering wheel and interlock your fingers with your palms facing outward. Round your upper back, tightening your abdominal muscles and hold the position for 20-30 seconds and slowly release it.
2. Shoulder rolls
Keep one hand on the steering wheel and slowly roll the other shoulder back and forth. Then repeat with the other shoulder.
3. Piriformis stretch
When you are stopped, cross your right leg over your left leg so your right ankle is sitting on your left knee. Keeping your back straight and pushing down on your right knee slightly, lean forward until you feel a stretch in your right buttock. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and then slowly release, and switch sides.
4. Neck stretches
Tilt your neck to the left, so your left ear is moving towards your left shoulder and use your left arm to gently pull your head closer to your shoulder. Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds and then release, and switch sides. You can also do a forward tilt by bringing your chin near your chest to stretch the back of your neck.
5. Low back stretch
From the sitting position, slowly roll your bottom forward so your back is moving away from the seat until you have a slight arch in your low back. At that point, hold the position for 5 seconds and then slowly roll back until your back is flat against the seat. This should be repeated 2-5 times as needed.
The stretches above give the opportunity to stretch the majority of your body and keep those muscles from getting too stiff while in the car for an extended period of time. These stretches can be performed individually as needed or completed to help prevent tightness before it arises.
If you are experiencing chronic pain, iSpine Clinics is here to help. Coupled with personalized treatment plans, we offer minimally-invasive pain care procedures and rehabilitation at our clinic locations across the Twin Cities metro. Call (763) 201-8191 today for a consultation.