Back pain is highly common among people who spend majority of their time behind a steering wheel. You will be surprised to know that by changing a few habits and maintaining a good posture one can reduce the chances of they are getting a back pain. Below listed are few useful habits you can incorporate when driving:
Ensure that you adjust your car seat before you sit. The backrest of your car should be absolutely straight and not bent forward or backward. Make it a point to sit all the way to the back of your seat. Your back should fall in line with the car seat which would assist in keeping your spine completely straight. This would help reduce the load off your lower back. Maintaining this posture will help you stay away from the awful woes of back pain.
When you have to cover a long distance, ensure that you don’t turn your feet outward or inward. This triggers the pelvic muscles and leads to muscle tightness and pain in your lower back. Another thing that should be considered is the distance between the seat and the pedal should be accurate, not too short, and not too long so that you don’t feel the need to push your back away from the backrest.
The steering wheel should be placed somewhere in the mid to lower position and your elbows should be bent low and kept close to your body. Make sure that your elbows are not flaring out, this will help in reducing the load from your shoulders and you will be able to drive in a more relaxed state
Adjust your mirrors
Adjust your mirrors in such a manner that you don’t have to keep moving your body to look into the mirror. Ideally, your eyes should be the only thing moving while looking into the mirrors. Constantly shifting in the car pressurizes your back because of which you end up experiencing back pain. So, if you adjust your mirrors to fit into a straight sitting posture, every time you slouch, it will remind you to sit upright.
Use a pillow for support
As car seats are incapable of supporting the natural curve of the back, keeping a pillow at the back will help you in getting a straight back while driving. Many a times you end up experiencing severe back pain because of the vibration caused by the car whenever it goes over a rough terrain or bumps. To reduce the shock from the vibrations, you may use a specially designed car seat which acts as a shock absorber and helps you in driving comfortably.
No wallet or phone in your back pocket
Refrain from keeping a wallet or phone in your back pocket as this can misalign your back while sitting leading to lower back pain over a period of time.
There are also some simple stretching exercises you can do to avoid back pain while driving.
Upper trapezius activation:
Place your hands on the steering wheel and bring the shoulder blades back and up. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Bow and arrow:
Sit up straight and stretch your arms out in front. Pull one arm down by the side at shoulder height. Twist your upper back till the elbow touches the seat. Now come back to the starting position and repeat 10 times on both sides.
Rotator cuff muscle exercise:
Sit with your arms by the side and the elbow bent at 90 degrees. Put your hands on the inside of the steering wheel. First do the upper trapezius activation and follow this with pushing your hand to the inside of the steering wheel. Hold and repeat 10 times on each side.
Inner thigh exercise:
Also called adductor, this is done in 15 repetitions as a start. Place a tennis ball between the knees and squeeze it powerfully. Hold with each contraction for two seconds and repeat.
Exercise for the core:
Make a straight line from the tailbone to the crown of the head as you sit up tall in the car seat. Next, draw your belly button towards the spine and engage the abdominal muscles. Stay in the position for about 15 seconds and perform a couple of more sets.
Sometimes you can’t avoid driving long distances and it might result in some discomfort and back pain. A perfect way to get pain relief is by applying an like Moov, which is useful in providing instant and long-lasting pain relief.