Back pain while driving. How to put an end to it.

Do you ever end up with back or neck pain while driving?

If you do the information in this article may prove vital for you so keep reading.

Do you know that most people sit in correctly while driving?

Common ways to sit incorrectly while driving include slumping your lower back and protruding your chin forward.

Quite often this happens because the driver is sitting too close to the edge of the seat instead of having their hips right against the back of it.

The first thing to do to make sure that you’re sitting correctly while driving is to put your seat in a more upright position. This will help to straighten your lower back as well as help to keep your neck in a more upright position.

You see, when your seat is retracted backwards too far you still need to be able to look forward in front of you so you’re having to flex your head forward to be able to see. This puts a lot of strain on the neck muscles, ligaments and joints causing you to eventually develop neck pain. 

Another thing to make sure is that you have a lumbar cushion. For those of you who don’t know lumbar cushion is a little curve or at bulge that you can position around your lower back area that helps to maintain a healthy nice curve in your lower back. This helps to protect your back from slouching and unnecessary strain.

But in order for you to take advantage of a lumbar cushion you need to make sure that your hips are positioned right against the back of the seat as I mentioned before. If you continue to sit on the edge of your seat it won’t matter if you have the lumbar cushion or not.

One more common mistake that many drivers make is they bring the car seats either too close to the dashboard or too far away. If you are sitting too close to the steering wheel or the dashboard your legs will be in a excessively bent position. This will most commonly cause excessive slumping in your hip and lower back area again placing unnecessary stress on your spine.

However sitting too far away from the steering wheel will cause you to overextend your legs which will affect your ability to reach for the pedals impacting on your safety as well as causing unhealthy tilting of the pelvis and placing stress on your hips and lower back.

One more crucial things to know before we end this article. In most cars you can also adjust the position of your steering wheel. You can usually adjust it up or down. If you are relatively short you may struggle to see over the steering wheel. This can cause strain on your neck and upper back muscles.

If you find it difficult to be able to see over the top of your steering wheel try to adjust the height of the steering wheel by pulling on the lever usually position below the steering wheel. Ensure that you adjust the steering wheel position when the car is not moving.

If after reading this article you still feel a little bit confused about any of the instructions we’ve given or if you continue to experience neck or back pain during or after driving please give us a call on 09-5328942 to book in for a free assessment at our physiotherapy clinic either in Howick or Pakuranga.