Alleviating Driving Induced Back Pain

Prolonged sitting, whole body vibrations and constrained postures while driving can lead to back pain. It’s no fun for anyone to drive with lower, middle or upper back pain. Whether you’re driving to work every day or taking a trip that requires being behind the wheel for an extended period of time, you shouldn’t have to suffer the whole time you’re in your vehicle.

With some modifications and a little effort on your part, you should be able to prevent back pain while driving. Some ergonomic tips to reduce or eliminate back pain so you can drive more comfortably include:

1. ADJUST YOUR SEAT AND HEADREST

The first step you can take to alleviate back pain while driving is to adjust your seat correctly. You’ll want to sit fairly close to the steering wheel, but not so close it will compromise your safety. If your steering wheel is within easy reach, it will help reduce stress on your neck, lumbar, wrists and shoulders. Your vehicle’s headrest should be in the middle of your head. Keep your neck and back of your head in a neutral position to ensure correct posture and positioning. Your shoulders should rest slightly behind your hips.

2. CREATE LUMBAR SUPPORT

Be sure to center your back against the seat to maximize back support for your car. It might be necessary to add a lumbar support accessory, as many vehicles don’t have adequate lumbar support. Therefore, it can help to roll a towel or scarf up and place it behind the lower curve of your back to provide back support for driving.

If you slightly bend your knees higher than your hips, it can take the pressure off your lower back and hamstrings. Your hips, back and neck work like cogwheels, so by turning one part, the other parts will move as well.

3. CHANGE YOUR STEERING WHEEL GRIP

Researchers have been looking into which way is best for you to position yourself at the steering wheel when you’re experiencing back pain. Before, experts suggested you hold your steering wheel at a 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position. However, now with the prevalence of airbags, studies are finding you should place your hands at a 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position for increased safety in the event of an airbag deployment. This position also allows you to rest your elbows on the vehicle’s armrests to help alleviate pain, particularly in your upper back.

4. TAKE A DRIVING BREAK AND MOVE AROUND

The spine enables your mobility. When you sit in one position in the vehicle, it will make your back muscles stiff, leading to potential muscle spasm and achiness. If you can, take a break from driving, preferably every 2 hours. Safely pull over to the side of the road and get out of your vehicle so you can stretch and move around, which will stimulate blood circulation to your lower back.

Try and move a little in your seat in between these driving breaks. Even moving and stretching for 10 seconds is better than sitting still. At least adjust your seat and every 20 minutes, change your position. Stretch your hamstring muscles and keep the blood flowing by pumping your ankles. Any movement you can do in your vehicle safely will help.

5. CONSIDER BACK PAIN TREATMENT FROM A SPECIALIST

You may want to go to a physical therapist. With painful arthritis, being too active can worsen pain, but not moving around enough can do the same. Physical therapists will show you how to strike the perfect balance. We work with you on stretching, exercising and strengthening your muscles. When you have good muscle tone, your joints can do their jobs better with ease.

At Chiropractic and Physiotherapy health center, we know how disruptive back pain can be, and so we are here to help eliminate the pain. We understand how back pain can impact an individual’s daily routine and burden your life. We dedicate ourselves to getting to know you and understand your pain. We’re committed to restoring your quality of life .

Last but not least, nothing works for everyone; our caring and dedicated team at Chiropractic and Physiotherapy health center is here for your rescue from pain. For more tips Feel free to consult us at any time.
References;

  1. https://spineina.com/blog/prevent-back-pain-while-driving/
  2. https://www.betterpt.com/post/how-best-to-adjust-your-car-seat-for-lower-back-pain-relief

Composed by;
Sharanya Thomas.
Physiotherapist
Chiropractic and physiotherapy health centre

Alleviating Driving Induced Back Pain

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