With the ever growing traffic on roads we are spending more & more time on the driving seat. This can be a major cause for chronic back problems. Driving increases the risk of having back pain by two fold, hence it is important to learn ways to prevent it especially for those who drive for long.
Here are few tips which can help you to achieve a relatively pain free drive.
Adjust the seat: Keeping your seat too far away from the steering requires you to reach for the steering wheel as well as the paddles. Keep your seat closer to the wheel, so that it becomes easier for you to put your hands on the wheel without compromising your safety.
Support your back: While driving, one should not be leaning back or forward, rather should maintain an upright posture with your back resting & supported fully on the seat with an angle of around 100. If your car seat doesn’t have lumbar support then use a small cushion or towel roll to maintain a smooth arch in your lower back.
Mind your head: Keep your chin slightly pulled in, so that your head rests smoothly over your shoulders.
Be a smart passenger: Do not sit on the edge of your car seat. If it’s difficult for you to put your feet on the floor of the car, then carry a small stool to rest your feet on.
Be a calm driver: Getting stuck in traffic can be frustrating, but try to be as calm as possible. For driving under stress is one of the major factors which induces pain. You can also play good slow music for a calm drive.
Rest and move intermittently: Our spine is designed to move, so sitting in the same posture for long can cause stiffness & spasm in your back. Try to do head movements, pelvic tilts & ankle pumps for 10-15 seconds after every 15 minutes or so. It is better to get out of the car every 30 minutes & stretch a little for a minute.
Empty your pockets: To avoid over pressure and uneven weight distribution on your buttocks, do not carry anything in your back pocket.
Sports Therapist, AktivHealth