Driving without pain
17 August 2017
Increasingly more patients complain of back pain caused by car journeys. Many people experience neck or low back stiffness after driving. This can cause aches and pains that you may find hard to budge in the future.
Across the UK, drivers spent 30 hours on average in delays each year. Modern life involves spending so much time in cars, it is imperative that car seats support our spine. Unfortunately, as our cars have evolved aesthetically and now focus on better technology, the car seats have been neglected.
Driving with poor posture will cause back and neck ache, as well as poor concentration and fatigue.
Our spine has a natural curve, and the problem with driving and sitting all day is that it creates an un-natural position, so we need to correct this.
Sit up straight in the chair to support your spine. If your seat does not offer sufficient support you can buy a lumbar support or place a rolled-up towel in the small of your back to support the spine’s “S” shape. This will keep your spine in its natural position, which helps in avoiding aches and pains.
Be aware of positions
How does a steering wheel or chair position affect our posture, and lead to pain?
Stretching your arms to reach your steering wheel will inevitably cause strain on your shoulders and neck which isn’t just uncomfortable but painful. Adjust the wheel so your arms have a slight bend in them, adjust your seat to allow a comfortable view of the road. Having the wrong seat position can cause overstraining on the neck, the last thing you want is a headache whilst driving. The last thing to do is ensure you’re sat far back enough that you can reach the pedals comfortably but you’re not fully stretched, as this can cause cramping.
Long distance driving
For most long-distance drivers, sitting in one position for a prolonged period will result in stress and strain on their spinal joints and muscles.The problem is, most drivers have a deadline to reach in terms of reaching a destination, so the best way to tackle long-distance driving dis-comfort is to follow the first two steps whilst taking breaks to get out the vehicle and walk around whenever you can.
After a long journey and once you have reached your destination, walk for a few minutes before you unload your boot. Your joints and muscles are cold and can be easily injured by lifting.
Another tip to avoid back pain whilst driving is to swing your legs in and out of the car with your knees together. Never climb into or out of the car one leg at a time. Doing this will ensure you do not twist your spine too aggressively, which could result in sudden pain.
Are you driving with pain? Take these steps for a better journey.