Back Pain From Driving – Have you ever noticed the things we do wrong while driving? For many, sitting in one position for an extended length of time while not addressing some bad driving habits can cause back pain.
What are the bad driving habits we are referring to?
First, it’s placing things in our back pockets. Whatever you decide to stick in your back pocket – your phone, wallet, or lip gloss, it may be a major cause for throwing your spine out of alignment. Accordingly, empty out your back pockets before you sit.
Second, not sitting up straight or leaning to the side as you drive are two known causes for misalignment. Don’t get us wrong, time to time, all of us have to adjust ourselves and our seats to get comfortable, but comfort now can be painful later.
For instance, if you drive while leaning to the side, arm on the armrest, and placing only one hand on the wheel, then you are pushing most of your weight on one hip. It may be comfortable for a 30 min commute to work, but doing this everyday can cause your spine to compress, misalign, and result in back pain as you’re sitting at your desk or relaxing on your couch.
Therefore, while driving, make sure your tush is centered to the seat, back flushed, and your posture is proper. That means, sit up straight with your knees slightly bent and positioned higher than your hips. Additionally, keep your chin tucked in so your head sits straight above your spine.
Third, when driving long road trips, try scheduling regular stops for at least five minutes to stretch your back and legs. Professional long distance drivers suggest taking a break about every 100 miles or 1 to 1.5 hours. This will help relieve stiff muscles and spasms.
Fourth, sit a comfortable distance from your steering wheel, but not too close or too far, as over reaching on the wheel can place more stress on your lumbar spine, shoulders, neck and wrists. For airbag safety, the national highway traffic safety administration advises sitting with your breastbone at least 10 inches from the steering wheel. You also want to keep your hands at 9 and 3 o’clock position as opposed to the top or the bottom of the wheel.
If you are one who tends to drive a lot and subsequently suffering from pain, please contact our office. From laser to spinal decompression therapy, we can evaluate you and find the treatment most fitting for your case.