Four Tips for Traveling by Car with a Bulging Disc

For patients coping with a bulging disc, prolonged sitting can be an ordeal, as it puts pressure on the muscles and discs of the spine, causes tendons and ligaments to stiffen, and encourages slouching, which puts additional strain on the neck and back. This makes traveling by car a real challenge for anyone coping with a bulging disc. The good news is that by taking a few precautions and preparing carefully for your trip, you can minimize your discomfort while on the road. 

Assemble a Kit

Before setting off, pack a bag dedicated solely to the products that will help alleviate your discomfort while in the car, and keep this kit next to you during the trip. That way, everything you need will be within easy reach. A few of the items to keep handy include:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs – such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen to reduce swelling and provide pain relief from your bulging disc
  • A heating pad or chemical heat pack – to relax muscles
  • Cold packs – to reduce inflammation and numb sore tissue
  • A care seat cushion – to minimize the effects of bumping and jarring
  • A lumbar or neck pillow – to provide additional support and stabilization

Once You’re on the Road

Packing a kit is one tip for traveling by car with a bulging disc. There are three more: 

  • Remove anything from your pockets that can throw your spine out of alignment – such as a cell phone or a thick wallet as this can misalign the spine and cause bulging disc symptoms.
  • Try to maintain a sitting position that keeps your legs at a 90-degree angle – this will reduce stress on your lower back
  • Take frequent breaks to get out of the car and move around – to prevent muscles, ligaments, and tendons from stiffening up. The more breaks the better, but even a five-minute respite every 90 minutes can reduce discomfort

Bulging Disc Treatment at BEST

If you’ve been diagnosed with a bulging disc and are still experiencing chronic pain despite months of conservative treatment, it may be time to consider a surgical alternative. At BEST Health System, our experienced surgeons are more than capable of treating your bulging disc through surgery. We use muscle-sparing techniques which usually involve an incision that is less than an inch and provide long-lasting relief from symptoms for a number of spine conditions including bulging discs. 

Contact a member of our team today and begin your first steps toward relief. We can help determine if you might be a candidate for our minimally invasive surgeries. This procedure is often the most clinically appropriate approach and provides many advantages versus open neck surgery.