Sitting for long periods, the whole body, small frequency vibrations, and limited postures when driving can cause lower back pain. It is no fun for anybody to drive with lower back pain. Whether you drive to work every day or take a trip that requires you to sit behind the steering wheel for a lengthy period, you don’t always have to experience pain in your car.
If lower back pain is common while driving and makes it hard for you to steer, you may be concerned that you may no longer drive. Do not give up on the tension of the road yet. With a few adjustments and some efforts on your side, you can relieve back pain when driving. Here are some tips to relieve or eliminate lower back pain for a more comfortable ride.
1. Take a Break While Driving and Move Around
The spine allows your mobility. One vehicle position makes the back muscles stiff, which can cause muscle spasms and pain. If possible, stop while driving, preferably after every 30 minutes. Carefully stop on the highway side and get out of the vehicle so that you can move and stretch, which will encourage blood circulation in your lower back.
Try moving a little in the car seat between these breaks. Even stretching and moving for 10 seconds is much better than just sitting. In either case, adjust your seat and change your position every 20 minutes. Stretch your hamstrings and let the blood flow by pumping the ankles. Every move you can make safely in your car helps.
2. Generate Lumbar Support
Ensure you center your back on the seat to exploit the rear support of your vehicle. It may be necessary to increase a lumbar support add-on, as most vehicles do not have enough lumbar support. Hence, it may help to roll up a sweatshirt and position it behind your lower back to support while driving.
Bending the knees slightly more than the hips can help relieve pressure on the hamstrings and lower back. Your back, hips, and neck act as gears, so in case you rotate one part, the rest of the parts move too.
3. Adjust Your Chair and Your Head
The initial step you may take to reduce lower back pain when driving is to adjust the seat properly. You want to be close enough to the driving wheel but not close enough to compromise your well-being. Having the handlebar within easy reach reduces strain on the neck, lower back, shoulders, and wrists.
If you are close enough, you don’t have to strain to get to the pedals. Ensure that the knees are not higher than the hips. You must also adjust your seat’s angle so that the backrest is at a 100- to 110- degree angle so you can sit comfortably.
The headrest of your vehicle should be in the center of your head. Put the head’s back in a neutral position to ensure you have a good posture and position. Your shoulders must rest slightly after your hips.
4. Change the Steering Wheel Grasp
Researchers have investigated the best way to get behind the wheel if you experience back pain. Previously, professionals suggested that you keep the wheel in the 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock position. However, with the existence of airbags, studies have shown that you should put your hands in the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position to increase safety in airbag deployment. In this position, you can also rest the elbows on the car’s armrests to relieve pain.
5. Use the Heated Seat Choice If Your Car Has It
The heat calms tight joints and muscles, slows down the transmission of the pain signal to the brain, and conveys more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the area; hence, relieving pain. If you do not have heated chairs in your car, you can buy a heated chair cover and put it in the driver’s seat.
Many individuals are often unaware of the effects of driving on their backs and may have tried different ways to resolve their back pain. However, they have never considered changing the technique of sitting in a vehicle. The above tips can be the solution for your lower back pain, so try and implement them.