Wednesday, October 14, 2015


The prospect of spending hours at a time in a car is unsettling for those of us with tricky backs.  So in advance of a roadtrip, some preparation is in order:

1. A good back cushion.  I have a great little self-inflating cushion that can be placed in just the right spot of the back that needs it.  It rolls up into a thin tube so is great for travelling.  I bought it at "Relax the Back" and comes in several colours.  I prefer the orange because it is less likely to be unnoticed and thus lost.  Mind you, I did lose one, on a West Jet flight.  But only one, and that's in several years.

2. Water.  Water lubricates and cleanses, as well as hydrates, so I always keep a full bottle at hand in my car's cup holder.  The key is to remember to take sips regularly.  Take a sip every 25km or after each tune or whenever you see a yellow car.  Whatever works.

3. Comfortable shoes.  What?  Why do you need comfortable shoes driving a car you ask?  Even when sitting and pressing on a gas pedal (I answer) having a supported, level foot is optimal as opposed to heels or flat sandals or flips flops.  Toe spacers optional.

4. A rest plan.  I intend to take a break from driving at least every two hours.  And not to just go and have a coffee in a cafe, but to walk around or lie down in the grass.  The best is to lie down and rest your legs, from the knees down, on a bench or even on the front seat of your car. This will take the pressure off your spine and allow gravity to give your disks a little space.

5. Distraction. But only the right kind of course! No texting or checking facebook or rifling in bags on the floor or anything else that takes your focus away from the action of being a responsible driver.  But a bit of emotional distraction is good. If you have a driving companion the obvious one would be a lovely conversation.  If you are alone, or your driving companion isn't much of a talker, I like having tunes on in the car, and a variety of tunes: pop, rock, classical, instrumental, choral, jazz, and swing, but that's just me. Whatever floats your boat is the business I say. Talking books can be good too. Whatever will add to the enjoyment of the drive and provide a distraction from the mundane aspects of driving, especially when stuck in traffic and moving at a snail's pace. That only makes you more aware of any stiffness or pain.  I especially like to sing the good bits really loud and freak out my neighbours in the HOV lane.  Well, that might amuse and distract them too.  You're welcome.

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