For many, driving can trigger back pain especially with long distances which can make the drive unpleasant. Back pain and driving is a common complaint that we see on a daily basis as Osteopaths.
Here are our top 5 tips for those of you that drive for 30 minutes or more a day.
- Get comfortable:
● No wallet, phones in back pockets as this can affect the spine and pelvis alignment.
● Sit close to the steering wheel to reduce stress on the low back, neck, shoulders and wrists.
● Sit up straight with hips slightly higher than the knees – about 100 degrees.
● Adjust the mirrors so you don’t have to move or twist to see them. If you adjust them while sitting upright then you will lose vision when you start slouching which will act as a reminder to sit up.
- Take regular breaks:
● Our body’s are designed to move. Sitting in one position for a period of time can cause stiffness in the joints. Ideally, stop every hour to walk around and stretch out.
- Use Ice or Heat pack:
● If you’re back pain is acute, pack an ice or cold pack. Acute back pain is accompanied by inflammation and applying the cold pack reduces the inflammation and the pain.
● If you have long standing back pain, bring a heat pack or use your car seat warmers to warm up the back muscles and prepare them for the trip.
- Check feet placement and use cruise control:
● Ensure proper feet placement so your feet can support the spine. The feet need to be placed on a firm surface and at the right height to avoid transferring the stress to your lower back. If your car has cruise control, you may want to do this especially for longer drives to have both feet on the floor at the same time.
- Use a car seat cushion:
● Jolts and vibrations can trigger back pain as the car goes over bumps. To reduce this, use a cushion designed for car seats which will act as a shock absorber.
If you are experiencing back pain, ask one of our friendly Osteopaths here at Living Health Group for help with reducing your back pain.