How to avoid back pain while driving
If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time in your car. And if you’re like most people, you suffer from back pain. You’re not alone – millions of people around the world experience back pain regularly. While there are many potential causes of back pain, one that’s often overlooked is bad posture. Bad posture while driving can lead to serious back problems, so it’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to correct them.
It may not seem obvious or important at first, but over time driving for long hours can cause or worsen back pain while driving. Periodically (about every hour) stop to move and stretch. Spinal misalignment may not be obvious at first, but over time and on long journeys, it can cause or worsen back pain. Sitting in the same position for a long time in a car can cause back pain. Few people realize how bad posture can be for your back, especially after a long drive.
Here are a few tips for avoiding back pain while driving:
1.Taking breaks in between driving long hours.
As painful as driving can be for some, there are ways to minimize the pressure of spending hours behind the wheel. Taking five to 10-minute breaks every hour or so to stretch your legs and back can relieve your spine from driving. If you have another long day of driving ahead of you the next morning, use your time out of the car to prevent back pain. When your back hurts, time spent in the car can often drive you crazy.
2. Move your body and not sit in one position all the time.
People who spend a lot of time behind the wheel may be especially prone to back pain. Prolonged sitting, whole body exposure, low frequency vibrations, and cramped driving postures can cause back pain. Driving can increase pain in the neck, mid back, and lower back, causing one to sit in a suboptimal position for extended periods of time. When you sit still for long periods of time, it can cause muscle stiffness, which contributes to back pain from driving
3. Frequent stops and changing your driving posture.
If you are used to sitting for long periods with poor posture or a sedentary lifestyle, this can lead to structural changes in your neck and back. Improper posture of the back, legs and neck can put stress on the spine and cause back pain. In addition to frequent stops, change your body position from time to time to minimize back stiffness. If you sit with your back to a car seat, it can help support your spine by keeping your spine in a natural position.
4. Lumbar support
Lumbar support in a car seat can help support the lumbar area of your back and help your spine maintain its natural curvature while sitting in the car. In this case, you may want to consider a lumbar support pillow that fits the bottom of your back for extra comfort. Car seats are often poorly designed and lack lumbar support to accommodate the natural curve of the back. If your seat doesn’t recline (as might be the case with older cars), consider using a wedge pad or back pain support to do that for you.
If your vehicle does not have this feature, use a rolled up towel to provide similar lumbar support while driving. Use allows you to put your feet on the floor more often, providing additional back support while driving. This extra support will relieve pressure on your back, making it easier to adapt to driving. The point is to give your body a chance to move again after being relatively still and reduce back problems from driving.
5. Adjusting the seat of the car to make it comfortable
One car seat adjustment for back pain that can help is tilting back with the seat controls. This makes it easier to stay upright and prevents slouching (which can be a major cause of lower back pain from a car seat). The seat can be moved back and forth to find the point where your knees are off the dashboard, but you don’t have to sit and stretch your arms forward to reach the steering wheel. If you’re one of those people who gets behind the wheel while driving or leans forward to read the nav screen, try to recline the seat as much as possible to relieve the pressure.
6. Shrugging and rolling your shoulders, rotating your neck.
To relieve neck and shoulder pain, try shrugging and rolling your shoulders and rotating your neck from side to side. Back pain while driving is usually caused by the car vibrating or the bumps and jolts of the car as it rides over bumps. The back can become weak after prolonged driving; simple stretching or bending can cause injury. Sitting in a car can strain your back muscles and can cause pain and possibly muscle spasms. If you tend to lean to one side frequently, such as while driving, this can also lead to an imbalance in your upper back, which can lead to pain.
Many people are often unaware of the impact driving has on their back and may have tried various approaches to relieve back pain but never considered changing the way they sit in a car. There are many changes you need to make to your car seat if you want to save yourself pain later or prevent pain from getting worse.
Sitting can make you increasingly uncomfortable if your back pain is caused by sciatica, spinal stenosis, disc problems, or something else. To minimize back pain after traveling long distances, you can try stretching or moving during breaks or upon arrival at your destination. While stretching before a ride won’t solve back problems, stretching while traveling can help, especially stretching to counteract this hunched posture.
So if you suffer from back pain while driving, don’t worry – you’re not alone. But there are things you can do to make the experience a lot more comfortable.
Taking regular breaks is essential for keeping your energy up and avoiding fatigue while driving long distances. In addition to taking breaks, it’s also important to move your body throughout the day. This can be done by adjusting your driving posture and using a lumbar support, as well as rotating your neck and shoulders frequently. Follow our tips for better posture and reduced back pain and you should start feeling a lot better in no time. If you need help getting started, give us a call today. We offer driving lessons that will help improve your posture and make driving less painful.