Reduce Back Pain While Driving and Improving Posture
September 09, 2019

When you have back pain, driving your car or being a passenger can be difficult. With so many people commuting daily, it is important to uncover ways to make your drive to and from work, as well as while running errands or traveling to your favorite getaways less painful.

If you have a sedentary job, you’ve probably already created optimum conditions for getting through the day sitting at a desk, and some of those tricks can also be put to use in the car while driving. Here’s how to sit in your driver’s seat (or passenger seat) to reduce back pain and increase comfort.

Getting Started

The first step is getting your car seat in a position that works for you. You’ll need to uncover what makes you comfortable in the driver’s seat. It may take some time as well as a bit of trial error to discover a position that is acceptable for you.

Begin by removing items from your back pockets, as these can alter your spinal alignment. Make small adjustments in your seat position and try it for a few days. If it doesn’t work, make more adjustments until you find the position which feels best and delivers the least pain. Making major adjustments could increase your pain, so slowly incorporate small position changes and try them during your daily commute.

Making Driving Posture Improvements

In most cars, especially new makes and models, your seat has multiple options integrated to help you achieve driving comfort and safety. You can adjust angles and distances to ensure pedals, controls, and the steering wheel, as well as your line of sight, is optimal for you.

The best driving position is one in which your spine is upright, inclined around 30 degrees to reduce pressure on your lower back with your knees only slighter above your hips. Make sure your positioning doesn’t place you too high, too low, too close, or too far away. Most importantly, remember, your seat is designed to support you while driving. If necessary, you can add a specialty cushion or pillow to ensure your back is aligned properly, which can help alleviate sciatica and lower back pain.

As you work to find your best position, keep in mind your arms should be relaxed, bending slightly at the elbow. Armrests can also help decrease the pressure on your back. When you arrive at the optimal position, your spine should be elongated, with your head and shoulders back (your head should reach the headrest) and your chin level. And, remember the old “hands at 10 and 2”? For those with back issues, a better position is “8 and 4” which promises support for your shoulders and neck.

Surviving Longer Trips

For long trips, using cruise control can allow you to place your feet firmly on the floor and lend support to your spine. With your knees at 90 degrees, you can reduce pressure on your spine.

With long trips, plan scheduled stops to allow you to get out, move around, and stretch, thus alleviating stiff muscles, cramps, and aches later when your journey is complete. Even when you are driving, small movements that don’t affect your driving safety can help reduce back pain.

Contact County Line Chiro

For additional care for you and your chronic back pain, call or visit one of the five convenient South Florida County Line Chiropractic Medical and Rehab offices for pain relief and a return to better health and wellness.

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