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Avoid Back Pain While Driving With These Tips

If you have back pain, riding in the car for an hour or more can be a real challenge. If you have a long trip coming up, consider the following advice and see if it helps you out.

1.  Seating, raise the seat if able to offer the best view of the road.  If you cannot raise the seat, raise yourself in the seat by using a cushion or special seating device that raises you a bit higher. 

2.  Move the seat forwards until you can easily depress the clutch and accelerator fully.

3.  Can you adjust the angle of the seat so that you thighs are fully supported along their whole length?  Sitting with your knees higher than your hips may flatten the spine out and rotate the pelvis, causing a poor postural position. If this is the case, you can try a seat wedge to prevent the pelvis from rotating.

4.    Adjust the back of the seat, so that it provides support along the whole length of your spine up to your shoulder level.  Do not recline the seat too much as this will have an adverse effect on your neck, causing it to bend forward excessively.

5.    Adjust the lumbar support of the back rest so that it is in the small of your back and that it fits correctly, i.e. not over arching your back or leaving any gaps.

6.    Adjust the steering wheel height so that there is enough clearing above your thighs and that you can comfortable see the display panel in front of you.

7.    Check to see that you are not too far or too close to the wheel. A rough guide is to be able to rest your wrists on top of the steering wheel without stretching.

8.    Adjust your mirrors to suit you, rather than twisting and turning your back or neck.

9.    Try to drive with both hands on the wheel, not only is this safer but it will minimize the likelihood that your spine will be rotated.

If you’re driving for longer than 20 minutes, adjust your seat a few inches or so to change the forces a little bit and decrease the constant load on your spine. Trapped on the turnpike for an hour or more? Stop and stretch as often as you can.

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