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  • Avoid Back Pain From Driving

  • You can avoid back pain from driving simply by following these tips. Back pain and discomfort can happen whether you are the driver or the passenger. Long drives put a different type of stress on the back and the discs. It is fair to say that if you have had a back pain whether from postural imbalance, disc degeneration, sciatica or arthritis, you can have an increase in pain with driving. Here is how you can prevent back pain before, during and after your travels.

    Before Getting In The Car

    1. Remember to get some helpful accessories. Memory foam wedge or cushion, air field cushion in form of a donut if you have tail bone pain are good options. Have a towel or a sweater you can roll and use as a support. Place 2 tennis balls in a sock and use them to release tense muscles in the back or neck simply by placing it on the tight area and relaxing.
    2. Optimize your seat. “The seat back should be placed just beyond upright from 100 to 110 degrees. Placing it more reclined than this can lead to a head-forward posture and neck pain.” Michae Suer, M.D, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    3. Seat ergonomics. The seat should be placed 5 degrees upwards and your legs should be at obtuse angle- knees slightly lower than the hips.
    4. Check your pockets. Remove your wallet, keys, coins, phone from front and ack pockets. These could cause significant pressure with out you feeling any discomfort while driving.

    During The Ride

    1. Pay attention to how your back feels. Acknowledging any pain and discomfort will lead to to take action.
    2. Consider slight changes in your seat position every 20-30 minutes.
    3. If you are driving longer than an hour, make a pit stop to stand, stretch, walk. Here are some useful stretches for the road.
    4. If you have heated seats you can use them for 20 minutes on every hour on a low setting to sooth tight muscles.

    Arriving At Your Destination

    1. It is likely you are pretty tired after the long drive. The best thing to do after driving is to restore the motion in your back and avoid sitting for at lest 20-30 minutes. Do not bend forward to stretch your back. We recommend gentle extensions and side bending after few minutes of walking. Stretching your hips and legs will alleviate tension in the low back.
    2. Consider unloading the car after at lest an hour after arriving. Lifting, turning and bending can cause much not needed strains on already fatigued muscles.
    3. Mind your sleeping position especially the first night after arrival. Check out these sleeping tips.
    4. Avoid strenuous exercising for 1-2 days after driving. Modify your normal exercise routine to avoid low back pain aggravations due to muscle fatigue due to driving. Check out these gentle low back exercises.

    If The Pain Continues After The Trip

    We hope that these tips helped you achieve and maintain pain free driving experience. Your are at your destination and enjoy your holiday. But if the pain is nagging and did not get any better by trying these tips it is time to see your trusted chiropractor.

    As always, consider chiropractic before medication and surgery and stay up to date by visiting our website, liking us on Facebook, or Instagram, or calling us for an appointment.