Driving with back pain can make traffic jams much more than a nuisance. Long hours on the road can cause new back problems or aggravate existing ones. The vibration, acceleration, deceleration and jolting of your vehicle can damage the discs between your vertebra and certainly makes your joints stiff and muscles tense and tired.
That’s why you need to properly adjust your seat, like moving it toward or away from the steering wheel, change the incline of the backrest, and move the headrest up and down. Once you’ve adjusted it, don’t forget to sit in it correctly (upright) and wear your seatbelt of course!
Try these tips to make the journey easier:
- Use a lumbar support or try something simple, like a rolled-up towel behind your back to straighten you up or a cushion under your bottom to take out the dip and stop you from slumping.
- Move your seat forward; most of us sit too far back.
- Angle your seat to sit more upright.
- Go cruising. Don’t work so hard with the pedals. Drive in cruise mode on motorways.
- Stretch it out. Get out of the car for a walk whenever possible (every 2 hours is best) and stretch out so you lengthen you spine or twist it gently to counter the still position you’ve been in.
- Ice it down. Only if backache is bad, put an ice pack on the sore bit it at the end of the journey for around 10 minutes.
- Adjust your steering wheel grip. Don’t drive too tense as this makes your shoulders tense also. Nowadays we recommend you drive with your hands in the quarter to three position.
- Heat your seat. If you have this facility on cold days to relax your lumbar muscles. It really does help.
- And finally, once in the right position, adjust your rear view mirror so that the next time you slump you will realise, as you won’t be in the right position to see behind you. This will encourage you to sit up straight.