Long Drive Causes Low Back Pain

It’s been an interesting month on the road so far. I left Florida on May 4th, drove to Charleston, SC for a meeting, then Chapel Hill, NC to teach a clinic to massage therapists. Next it was New York to teach a clinic and to work with some of my old clients that I used to see when I had my office in NY. Next it was off to CT for some business meetings, and then Cooperstown, NY and Lake Arial, PA for more meetings. Now I’m back in Cary/Chapel Hill, NC again to again teach and see old clients from this area. Next week I finally head back to Florida. All-in-All it will be about 2500+ miles. So, why am I telling you all of this?

I’ve mentioned before that sitting is the #1 non-traumatic reason for low back pain, and you sit a LOT when you are driving those kinds of distances. I look at the truck drivers I see on the road and at the stops I make to get gas, and I think about the aches and pains they are having. I keep wanting to talk to them, especially when I see someone bent forward and obviously in pain.

Well, yesterday as I was driving 9 hours from PA to NC, I did. John (the man I spoke to at a Flying J station) was bent way forward, and his face told the tale of his pain. I went over to him, introduced myself and told him what I do for a living. I asked if he was in pain, and he said…”It’s terrible! It never stops!” He told me he had low back pain, sciatica, his knees hurt, and his hips felt like someone had hit him with a hammer — yipes!!!

Our conversation got rather long at that point but if you go to the Julstro Protocol you can read what I told him so I don’t repeat the entire thing here.

I showed him how to find the spasm in his thigh (the rectus femoris muscle to be exact) and I had a Perfect Ball in my pocketbook (doesn’t everyone??) so I showed him how to treat his low back and all of the muscles around his pelvis. Then I gave him the ball, he really needed it. When he stood up I showed him how to do the stretch for the muscle that pulls him over so he is tilted forward (the iliopsoas muscle).

I wish I could say his pain was 100% gone, but considering the condition he was in when we started, and the fact that we only worked together for about 10 minutes, that would have been a miracle. However, he said it was at least 50% better and he was standing straighter.

We spoke about how he can continue doing the treatments even while driving (ex: put the ball onto his low back muscle (quadratus lumborum) and then lean back into his seat) and what he should do when he stops the truck and before he even gets out of the cab (ex: use the heel of his hand to work on the thigh muscles to release the tension on his anterior pelvis).

I don’t know if he’ll do it, and I’m sure I’ll never see him again, but he was sure happy when we were finished so I have a feeling that he’ll continue.

If you drive long distances it is really worth your time and effort (not a lot of effort, but there is a learning curve) to learn how to self-treat each of the muscles that shorten as you sit in your car.

BTW, these are the same muscles that shorten when you are sitting for long hours at your desk. If you are like so many people, sitting at your computer for what seems like eternity, it would be worthwhile to look into the Julstro Protocol to release the tension in your muscles.

Wishing you well,


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