- 1 How can I prevent back pain when I drive
- 2 How can you prevent back pain when driving?
- 3 Why does my back hurt when I drive?
How can I prevent back pain when I drive
For anyone who spends a fair amount of time driving each day – whether that’s for a living or a long commute – there are practical steps you can take to prevent back pain and damage. Here are Jan’s top tips for drivers: Adjust your back rest so that it makes contact with your back from your bottom to your shoulders, about 100 to 110 degrees.
Is it bad to drive with lower back pain?
Long Drive-A Cause For Back Pain|Reasons|Best Driving Positions|Measures To Alleviate Low Back Pain Driving is commonly the cause of lower back pain, especially when driving for prolonged periods of time. Driving can also worsen an existing back pain. The back should be supported adequately when driving to avoid further damage to the back.
Is your road trip causing you back pain?
There are few feelings of freedom that compare to hitting the open road, with a fun destination ahead and new sights breezing by along the way. As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people stopped booking plane tickets and turned to cars and RVs as a more comfortable, safer mode of transportation to get their travel fix.
- With all of this road-tripping going on, back pain from driving can be a real problem.
- Studies suggest that low back pain and hours behind the wheel can go hand in hand.
- Other studies have suggested that being sedentary or sitting too long can lead to back pain.
- A road trip isn’t your regular commute—it can be full days of driving, one right after the other, as you trek toward your destination.
Michael Suer, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, agrees that a road trip can be tough on the body. “While we live much of our lives in a flexed posture—sleeping curled up, sitting to eat, sitting at our desks, or watching television—the stress placed on your back while driving is dynamic in comparison to these static positions,” Dr.
- Suer says.
- He continues, “Vehicles place different forces on our low back, such as accelerating, decelerating, swaying side to side, and even minor vibrations.
- Further, as the feet and legs are used in vehicle control, they are not able to be used to help stabilize the spine.
- The vibrations in particular can cause some individuals to have issues with their discs.” Discomfort can happen whether you’re the driver or a passenger.
And if you already have a diagnosed back condition, it can be worsened over the miles. In other words? The highway may take its toll—in more ways than one. “It would be fair to say that any individual with back pain can have an increase in pain with driving, whether they suffer from postural imbalance, sciatica, or arthritis,” Dr.
What is the best thing to do after a long drive?
When You Stop for the Night – Whew! After a long day of driving, you’re ready to hit the sack. If you have another long day of driving ahead of you the next morning, use your time out of the car to continue preventing back pain.
You might be pretty tired after a day of driving, but ideally, this isn’t the time to sit. “The best single thing to do after driving is to provide your body with the motion it has not had while driving. This would best be done with standing or walking and providing some gentle stretches,” This can include extension and side bending of the low back. Core exercises can also prove to be helpful. “Simple core exercises can provide relief; however, after particularly long or taxing drives, too strenuous of exercise when the body is fatigued may lead to more injury,” Dr. Suer warns.
How can you prevent back pain when driving?
Before Getting in the Car – Before heading out for the day, practice good prevention when it comes to your back. “Prevention is likely the best way to prevent significant increases in back pain with driving,” Dr. Suer says. He recommends the following precautions:
Before your road trip, consider purchasing some helpful accessories, such as memory foam or air-filled seat cushions. Dr. Suer says that if you specifically deal with tailbone pain in the car, a cushion with a tailbone cutout can provide relief. Optimize your seat back. He says, “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.” Pay attention to ergonomics. “The seat itself should sit you close enough to the steering wheel to provide a relaxed upper body posture but balance this with being a safe distance away from the steering wheel. The seat should also be level up to around 5 degrees upward to provide support to your legs. When able to do so safely, feet should be placed flat on the floor with the knees around 90 degrees of bend,” Dr. Suer advises. You can create your own lumbar support for driving since most car seats lack it. Dr. Suer shares a simple fix: “While many commercial driving pillows are available, simply rolling up a sweatshirt and placing it in the small of your back can provide an easy solution.”
Why does my back hurt when I drive?
Reasons For Having Low Back Pain When Driving Long Distances –
When a person is driving for extended periods of time, the spine loses its lumbar curve. This puts added strain on the discs and vertebrae. When driving, particularly on uneven surfaces, the spine has to suffer from lot of rough movements, jumps, and jerks. The current range of cars has a reduced roof line resulting in reduced internal space. Due to this, the seat is positioned lower and tilted backwards leading to straight positioning of the legs. This puts a lot of strain on the hamstrings and puts a pulling force on the pelvic attachments and causes the pelvis to roll backwards. This also puts strain on the cervical spine/neck as the seat also has to be tilted back and the neck has to be kept flexed by up to 20 degrees for the driver to look straight ahead.
Can driving cause low back pain when driving long distances?
Measures To Alleviate Low Back Pain When Driving Long Distance –
Having a lumbar support is very vital for alleviating low back pain while driving. If your car does not have a lumbar support then you should invest in an in-car lumbar support to avoid low back pain while driving for long periods of time. Automatic cars do not cause that much strain to the back, but in manual cars, due to continuous use of the clutch results in pressure on the lumbar discs. If you suffer from back pain during long distance journeys, then it is advisable to take breaks in between, get out of the car and walk around, stretch your legs, instead of completing the journey in one go. After lengthy driving periods, the back becomes weak and more vulnerable to any injury or damage. So, the bending and stretching of the back should be avoided.
Shoulder and neck pain while driving occurs due to stiffening of the muscles in the neck and shoulders and holding the wheel very forcefully. Make an effort to relax as much as possible when driving. The elbows should be slightly flexed at the wheel when driving. Some cars may have a steering wheel that is slightly offset from the center of the seat. In this case, the driver has to hold the steering wheel at an angle to the body. This causes more strain to the neck and shoulders.
Should you spare your back on a road trip?
Here are some tips to spare your back on a road trip. With all of this road-tripping going on, back pain from driving can be a real problem. Studies suggest that low back pain and hours behind the wheel can go hand in hand. Other studies have suggested that being sedentary or sitting too long can lead to back pain.