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Taking a road trip? Watch your back!

For many of us, summer is the season to hit the road and burn up some of that earned vacation time. Summer travel often includes seemingly-endless road trips, and that can really take a toll on your back—even if you don't have a history of pain.

To fully enjoy your summer destination, you need to know how to protect your back during the journey. Car travel is back on the rise—the economy has forced many summer vacationers to accessible, domestic locales. Therefore, this puts more individuals in a car for hours on end can put a lot of pressure on your back. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate the strain long car rides can place on your low back:

If your car seat doesn't offer enough support for your low back, simply roll up a towel and create a makeshift cushion between your back and the seat. You should also take time to stop at rest stops and towns along the way to stretch and move around. Staying in the same position for hours at a time will only exacerbate your back pain. Even spending just a few minutes stretching may make a big difference in preventing pain.

It is also important to make sure you're not sitting on anything (such as a wallet, money clip, or cell phone). If you are, it can aggravate back pain. If you know you are prone to getting sore in the car you can bring a cooler packed with ice packs to relieve pain on the road. If you need to ice your back, do so for no longer than 15 minutes at a time. Also, make sure there is a barrier, such as a towel, between the ice and your skin.

When it comes to pain-free traveling, the journey is just as important as the destination. Summer vacation should be something to look forward to, but it can be anything but enjoyable if you have back pain. Taking these precautions will help prevent pain, letting you truly enjoy your time away!

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