Cool, the amputee driving/travel tips worked!

Back in August (here) I blogged about a few things you can do while driving long distances to stretch your stump out on a road trip. The weekend before last Wifey and I jumped out into the far north to catch up with my little brother Tank and his lovely wife Meru, and while the drive was a good 4 and a half hours either way, I didn’t have much of a problem with the trip, which was great. While using the cruise control certainly helped (as did the liberal doses of Cheap Trick and Tears for Fears courtesy of Wifey’s iPod), taking a moment every half hour or so to gently stretch the stump made a huge difference. We also had a break half-way through the trip to grab a coffee and stretch our respective leg(s) which was good too.

If you’re interested in reading up on what I’ve done in the past to alleviate some of the aches you get whilst driving for an extended period of time, feel free to to check out the post in question – I’m not sure how helpful it’ll be for other amputees, but I thought it might prove useful to someone else out there apart from me!

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Amputee country driving

Wifey and I took a trip to the country to escape from things for a few days recently. It’s been a few years since we last jumped out that way, and it’s definitely been the first time in a while (and possibly since starting this blog) since I’ve spent a couple of hours at the wheel driving in a single hit.

Mind, the drive wasn’t too shabby at all – Wifey and I loaded the car up with tragic 80s tunes (bad habit, tragic 80s seems to suit country driving :)), so it was good fun 🙂 I did find though, rolling towards the end of trip, that my stump was getting a bit grumpy from sitting still for so long (probably didn’t help that we went straight from work, and I’d been sitting on my arse at work for about 8 hours before we headed out!). The angry muscles were along the base of the stump, my left hip and a little higher into the waist – it was nothing serious mind, but it was definitely there.

Anywho, this presented an issue – how do you stretch the stump out when it’s held inside an airtight socket, and there’s not exactly a whole lot you can do with your prosthesis when you’re driving!

What I ended up doing was clenching/flexing the muscles around my stump to start with, tilted my hips slowly left and right, and then gently twisted my stump to the left and right in the socket. Wasn’t much, but it did the job and took the strain off the muscles.

I think the reason it worked was because while the motions weren’t that big, they involved stretching the muscles relatively deeply from a restricted sitting position; the restricted position meant that the body didn’t have the ability to move with the motions, so they were all built on resisting other muscles.

… or at least I think that’s the theory behind it 😉 I’m sure those more in the know with muscles/physiology/anatomy will not only be able to dispute my theory, but possibly say I’m doing the wrong thing too! 🙂

Mind, I also might have described things really badly too 😉 Still, for other amputees involved with road trip or country driving, the above might prove useful!

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