Tips to Prevent Back Pain When Driving

Back pain affects a lot of people, especially those who spend long hours sitting in one position. This condition can be debilitating if you do not take time to stretch and exercise once in a while. Those who spend a long-time driving are at greater risk. If you drive for a living, you probably are on the wheel for more than 4 hours daily and are more at risk of experiencing such pains.

In most cases, those experiencing these pains complain of lower back pains. Prolonged vibration exposure causes low back pains.

There is no particular cause of back pain, but there are measures you can take to prevent the pain. Driving, in particular, requires that you know how to adjust your seat to the most natural position, and to take breaks in between long drives.

But how does driving for long hours cause back pain?

A study led by popular website shows that sitting causes more stress on your back than standing. Since driving involves a lot of sitting, you are going to exert a lot of pressure on your spine especially if you do not get the right posture.

While we cannot avoid driving especially if you do it as an occupation, there are measures you can take to mitigate or minimize back pains. Here are some of the tips you can consider.

Wear Something Comfortable

Not unless it is the routine drive to work where you have to wear some official clothes, wear something comfortable if you are planning to go for a long drive.  Avoid tight clothes such as tight jeans since you going to be sitting for a long time. No matter how you try to adjust your posture, with tight clothes, you will not manage to get the right sitting position. And who goes on a road trip wrapped up like a bandage. Loosen up and be comfortable to move easily when need be.

Get Comfortable Even Before You Start Driving

Good posture while driving

Before you sit and take the wheel, take some time to warm up the body and do some stretches. Take time about half an hour before you start driving to relax your muscles. Stretch your arms, back and leg muscles, and especially those that are going to be engaged the most. Stretching and warming up your muscles relaxes them and makes you feel comfortable. It also makes you more alert as you get more supply of oxygen to your brain and muscles.

Adjust Your Seat and Other Apparatus

If you usually share your car with others, you’d expect your seat to get readjusted quite often. Take time to ensure that you readjust it to the position you feel most comfortable. Specialists recommend a sitting incline of 100 degrees and getting closer to the wheel to avoid arching your neck. Reclining your seat further backward prevents your head from resting properly and exerts pressure on your back and neck. Adjust also the height of your seat depending on your body height to ensure that your hamstrings are not under too much tension. You can use extra cushions if you need your seat to be Check your mirrors to ensure that you only need to move your eyes and not your entire body when using them.

Get Frequent Breaks

When you finally get to driving, make sure you make frequent stopovers. Resist the urge to race other drivers whom you do not even know. You can take breaks after every 45 to 60 minutes and catch some air as you stretch and rest. Such breaks will not only prevent you from experiencing back pains, but will also see you arrive while not fatigued.

Use Cruise Control

If your car has this feature, make good use of it when it is safe to do so. Instead of shifting from breaks to gas pedal throughout the journey, if you get to a freeway where there is less traffic, you can engage this feature and have your legs rest on a more natural position to support your body.

When to Seek Treatment

Even after taking these measures, at times you might have overlooked a particular aspect and developed some pains. If you feel any kind of consistent pain that persists even after you have rested, you might consider visiting a doctor or getting a full body massage or both. Just don’t let such pain to stay with you for days without taking appropriate action. It might not end up well.

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