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Does anyone else have trouble with car rides

tammycttammyc Posts: 894
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Ever since my car accident everytime i go for a car ride that is longer than an hour in lenth my whole back goes into spasms,sometimes my legs do as well.My neck starts to hurt and i get nerve pain all over the place and end up with headaches.Its very much a pain in the ass.My family wants to go away for a three day trip and i'm terrified what i'm going to be like if i go with them.Its a four hour trip from where i am.How am i supposed to be able to deal with that.I don't want to stay home by myself and miss out but i also don't want to be in more pain then i already am either.I don't understand how a simple car accident can cause so much pain.My insurance agent is trying to talk me into taking a disabiliy benefit,i don't want that i just want to get better and start working again.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    traveling in any vehicle for a period of time will cause problems.
    I make a point that when I am in a car , that every hour or so, I get out , walk around stretch and wait at least 15 minutes before I get back into the car.
    Same holds true with airplane trips.. Only difference is that we can not get out and walk around... Instead, just find a spot on the plane where you can walk a bit and do some stretching.
    For me this is a life long situation. We always plan our trips taking into account the time I need to get out and stretch a bit
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I know what u mean...I had fusion C5-6 2years ago (no help from it) and in last year or so it hurts if I drive more than 20 minutes and am in agony with a long car ride! have read u need to stop every hour at least and walk around etc. but try making your whole family stop or your freinds! It is helpful if u can take a muscle relaxer (if u are not driving of course) and keep the area WARM...cold air on it tightens the muscles. personally I
    DREAD a trip of any kind because between getting there and back and sleeping in different bed, pillow,etc. I know I will pay dearly in the pain department. This is so sad to me cause I used to love to travel! Do u have any helpful hints on this? Pam
  • i like your spirit in that you want to get going again...
    as for car ride can you lay down in the back seat?
    are you the one who has to drive?
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I completely understand. Nothing I do seems to help when I'm in the car. You described it to a 'T' when you said its a pain in the @#!. It's made me just hate to have to go anywhere. I do sometimes though when my husband and son keep on me to go. They don't know how it is. I know how you feel by wanting to be with them but dreading the ride. Good luck and I hope it doesn't hurt you so bad.

  • Well i got about half an hour away from my house when my neck and shoulders started to burn so i put my neck brace on and left it on until i got there. I took my muscle relaxant before i left the house,usually i take half of one in the morning just so i don't get so tired during the day that all i want to do is sleep,but this time i took a full pill,also when as soon as the burning started i took an anti inflammatory and pain pill. Seemed to do the job.I slept great that night,only woke up once all night long.On the trip home i did the same thing and it seemed to work. i was so worried that i would be in pain all the time i was there. i still had some pain during the day when i was in the water but i always made sure that as soon as it started i got out and ate and took a pill.Props to the drug industry this time,it seemed to help. LOL.I think doing this on long trips is fine but i wouldn't want to take that much meds. for nightly trips here and there.i just don't like to take medications if i can help it.
  • I'm glad you decided to take the chance to go on the trip and that it worked out. Some how we spineys learn how to deal with the pain. It is worth it to enjoy time with the family. I think, well, I have pain anyway, so I might as well have pain doing something I want to do! LOL! Although, I haven;t done exactly what I want since my surgery I plan to some day and do little things I can for now! Congratualtions for taking the step to enjoy the trip making memories (although med. induced fogginess exists too!LOL) with your family!

    Rest up now!
  • I have a TON of problems riding in a car. Since my accident I have not only pain but severe anxiety when Í'm driven. I am better when I am the driver but am limited to the distance that I can drive. I just feel very out of control when I don't have my hands on the wheel. Do you think that this might be part of the problem for you since your accident?

    If we have to go anywhere too far I take meds, read my e-book, do ANYthing to take my mind off the road. I've been known to cover my head with a pillow. I know I must get funny looks but it saves us from getting into fights- ie: me screaming "LOOK OUT" every 5 seconds LOL. Maybe some of those diversion tactics would help you relax a little.

    I hope it gets better for you. I hate that our worlds seem to get smaller, not bigger.

  • that could be part of my problem,i trust my husband but i don't trust other people on the road.Also i know its the bumps in the roads as well,as soon as we hit one the pain starts instantly.then the headache of course.i'd rather just walk its much less painful,too bad everything wasn't within walking distance.LOL :O)
  • unfortunately for me I have to drive to the work sites for my business - no way out of that. I have tried to remember to leave my hands at the bottom of the stearing wheel to help and advoid as many of the bumps in the road.

    It is amazing...I can be having an 'alright' day - but i have to get in the truck and bam - it is no longer an alright day.

    It is what it is....and being a passenger isn't any easier. If i never had to get into a car - i'd be alright with that....but no work = no money...so in about 10 minutes I am back in the truck off to work...

    hope all are well
  • I just got back from a vacation where it was just 200 miles each way. I did okay because:

    1) I drove and could anticipate the bumps. I've learned that this really helps me out!
    2) I stopped as often as I needed to, about once an hour and plotted ahead of time where quilt shops and off price malls were (pick your favorite places)
    3) We bought a "new" car for me that is known as being a smooth ride. I don't like it as it looks like a grandma car and I'm not there yet, but it does help.

    Lastly, I cannot go anywhere in my husband's truck no matter who is driving. Trucks have rough suspension and so do many SUVs.
    Hope that helps you all have a smoother trip around town or across the country.
  • I just got back from a vacation where it was just 200 miles each way. I did okay because:

    1) I drove and could anticipate the bumps. I've learned that this really helps me out!
    2) I stopped as often as I needed to, about once an hour and plotted ahead of time where quilt shops and off price malls were (pick your favorite places)
    3) We bought a "new" car for me that is known as being a smooth ride. I don't like it as it looks like a grandma car and I'm not there yet, but it does help.

    Lastly, I cannot go anywhere in my husband's truck no matter who is driving. Trucks have rough suspension and so do many SUVs.
    Hope that helps you all have a smoother trip around town or across the country.
  • Griff, the pillow is funny and a great idea! I was laughing! I better try it because Sat. my husband told me he was going to take me home if I said, "Look out!" or "Do you see the cars stopping ahead?" or the bump in the road...LOL! I am taking an extra pillow next time or better yet how about the mask you put on your eyes to sleep? Maybe that will give everyone a laugh! LOL!

    Dee, even for short trips I make sure we stop at places we enjoy! Hey, what kind of car is your "grandma car" because I might check one out! I don't care, comfort first!

    I have to go to the dr. Thurs. and it is going to be 1-2 hours each way depending on traffic. Yikes! I use to love going anywher now I dread so many trips, long or short...but I have high hopes that someday I will be the girl on the go again!

    Have a good day friends! Hopefully close to home today!

  • Six months out and I have pain all over. I am stiff like the tin man on most days. Other days I feel like a crushed can. I am 35 years old and had a disectomy to relieve arm numbness. I was told it was due to a pinched nerve and a disk that herniated so bad my spinal cord was close to being severed. I was also diagnosed with cervical spondilosis , and degenerative disk disease. I am waiting on the fusion to take place and still having all types of pain, numbness, headachs, aniexety, depression, ect... I was recently also diagnosed with fibromyaligia. My entire life has revolved around movement and up to this injury I was still very active and taught gymnastics, dance, and movement education classes. Neadless to say I am unable to work due to the No Active Range of Motion thing. I also have always worked with young children and waitressed on the side. Also unable to do due to a lifting restriction. ( my left arm is numb just from typing this short story and both legs are already falling asleep) I am wondering if I will ever get back to myself. I don't exspect to stand on my head or flip through the air but, i would like to be able to walk longer then 10 minutes and I do not want to feel like a seventy-five year old. I have done everything that has been asked of me is it possible that I am not fixed. I can only be in a car about 15 minutes before being stricken with severe pain. I can not exercise, hit the waves, dance or even go on field trips with my children. I am not the same and I have numbness and tingleing all the time. Also always close by is the pain in the neck, arms, legs, back and sometime even face. What gives and which doctor out of my five should be trying to get to the bottom of this? I want my mobility back.
  • Tammy, the pain that hinders my travel is sciatica and it is bad cause I sell real estate. At least I get in and out pretty often which helps. However, when I am going to be in car for 2-3 hours, I put ice packs in a cooler and I sit on them when I drive. I don't know if this would help with other back pain, it definately numbs the pain in my hips.
    Also, In regard to taking disablility, remember it does not have to be forever, you can go back to work when you are better, but if you are going to miss work for a year or more, it might be very helpful if you can get it. Just a thought. I have not been able to work full time for 4 years, and I finally applied this year because I am getting progressively worse and weaker. The guy who took my ap said most people would have applied long ago and he put my ap date back to 1/1/2008 because my income was down this past year due to increased pain and weakness.
    we will see I guess. I am 60 tho and I may be older than you.. but thats my thoughts if any of it helps.
  • First, Skylersrain - I feel for you. Consider copying what you wrote above and post it again on your own heading and topic, that way more will see it. To me though, it sounds like you need a second opinion. Tell us what type of surgery, how many levels, and stuff like that. We care here and can share ideas and be a shoulder to cry on.

    Cars - Kathy and all, my grandma car is a used 08 Chevy Impala. I hope it's okay to post the type, but I found it helps. I test drove dozens of cars and for the money, it was the best one for me. Any other well loved car types for smooth rides?

    Also, I swear by my microbead neck pillow. It's about 10"x12" with an elastic strap for your headrest. Target sells it for $10 and I love how it cushions my neck. I take it with me on all car rides even in other peoples' cars.
  • thanks for your thoughts on disability.i think for me its just the thought of another step backwards and it kills me to think about it that way. When my neck pain first started before i had the surgery i was falling alot and my doctor told me to get myself a cane and use it all the time because he was affraid i was going to break a hip with one of my falls. i put it off forever,had many falls after that and my hips were so sore i could barely touch them but i just wouldn't give in and get that cane because in my mind it meant giving in to what was happening to me.my therapist found out from my doctor that i was supposed to be using a cane and chewed me out about not getting one,so i finally went and bought one,but it was one of the hardest things i had to do at the time.This is kinda the same thing for me,i just don't want to accept that i need to take a step backwards for now.
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