There’s no way around it, people are spending longer and longer in their vehicles. Add to that leisure activities such as road trips in lieu of flying, you’re going to experience back pain that can result from spending too much time in the car.
Many drivers have poor posture, and being behind the wheel for so long in one position can exacerbate that already poor positioning. This leads to aggravation of the nerves and discs in your back, and puts added pressure and strain on your spine and muscles which ultimately results in pain.
The good news is that there are several ways you can mitigate these negative side effects and resolve back pain from driving once and for all.
Here are driving tips to help alleviate back pain on the road.
Adjust Your Seat, Headrest, and Steering Wheel: This is a minor tweak that can make a major difference in your level of comfort while driving. Many people don’t even realize that their seat may be too close or too far from the steering wheel, or that it may be too high or not high enough. The reality is that the positioning of your seat impacts the posture of your entire body and just a slight deviation can have painful effects.
Add Lumbar Support: Lower back pain from driving is a common complaint, particularly for those who spend many hours in their vehicle at a time. An easy solution to this problem is often to add lumbar support to your car seat. There are many support bands, belts, pillows, and cushions available for purchase today that are relatively inexpensive yet effective at providing the support your lower back needs throughout the day.
Use Hot and Cold Compresses: Another solution for minimizing pain while driving is to use hot and cold compresses on the affected area, particularly while you are in the car. There are many different options available, such as no-mess heat packs that don’t require any batteries or power source or cold packs you can grab from the freezer before you go.
Adjust Your Mirrors: If you’re experiencing pain in your neck or shoulders, make sure that your mirrors are properly adjusted. Having mirrors that are not correctly aligned in your vehicle can cause strain and injury from repeated motion or overuse. You should be able to glance out of every mirror on your vehicle without physically turning your head or neck.
Take a Break: Spending an extended period of time sitting in the car isn’t good for you. In fact, it can increase levels of muscle and back pain from driving. Your muscular-skeletal system is designed to stay in motion and a healthy amount of movement is necessary. If you have to spend a long time driving, try to get in a few breaks.
During these breaks, it’s best to get completely out of the vehicle for several minutes. Walk around, stretch your back, arms, neck, and legs, and get your blood moving. This can prevent muscle knots, stiffness, and more.