Stretch your muscles on a long distance drive

Prevent stiff neck muscles and cramped shoulders on a long drive.


During a long drive, a stiff and sore neck with a back ache just ruins driving pleasure. Sitting in one position, especially in a badly designed car seat with poor lumbar support can wreck your neck, upper and lower back. Also hand and finger cramping can occur if you are holding the steering wheel too tightly or at the wrong arm height. Check you are not clenching your jaw tight. Is the sun making you squint resulting in tense facial muscles? Wear sun glasses.

Make funny faces and stretch the mouth and lips with fake smiles and pouts. A fake yawn works wonders for relaxing your face.

Take a break from driving at the first sign of a headache or a sharp pain between the shoulder blades or aching arms. Get out and walk around, stretch your neck, roll your shoulders, shake your hands and arms, open and close your fists. You know your body the best with its foibles and weaknesses, so look after it when on the road. Do the stretches and bends which won’t hurt you. Here are a few examples:





For more examples click onto this link

Don’t forget about your legs and buttocks which also don’t enjoy being in one position. Pins and needles is not what you want nor aches and pains in your lower limbs. Keep the blood circulating and the muscles moving.

Take turns driving so when you become a passenger, you can move your feet and legs around. Point those toes and heels, raise knees off the seat. Older people are now prone to blood clots  in the legs with prolonged car sitting; deep vein thrombosis. If you are driving solo, stop and take a short walk and exercise next to your car. Who cares what others will think of you. It’s your body.

Whatever you know about prolonged sitting in an aeroplane is even more relevant for driving a car where you have less room to move. And certainly you cannot ease concentration on the road.

At journey’s end, a neck massage is heavenly. You are lucky if you have a partner who can do this. Apart from resting and walking around, a hot shower to unwind stiff muscles often works well. Washing one’s hair under hot water automatically encourages neck and head stretches as well as raised arms.  Rub in shampoo to a lather then rinse off and massage your neck with soapy hands. Let hot water trickle down the back of your head and along the back of your neck and down past stiff shoulder blades.

A good night’s sleep with a comfortable pillow is the way to go, ready for the next day’s drive.

About Jeanne Eve

Jeanne Eve lives in Australia and enjoys long distance driving to new places combined with her love of travel, writing, eating and fun company. In former times, she was a speech pathologist so appreciates the desire for good health and effective communication. She is married and has two daughters and two step-sons.

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