If you experience back pain while driving, you’re not alone! According to our Stoke on Trent chiropractor, around 30-60% of drivers suffer from back pain that is either caused or made worse by driving. Even if you don’t suffer from back pain now, if you drive long distances (half an hour or more) to and from work every day, or your job involves long driving hours, you could be at risk of developing chronic back ache in the future.
So why is driving so nasty on your spine? You’re only sitting down after all, aren’t you?
Not at all, actually!
Think about it; when you drive, you expose your body to many different forces including acceleration, deceleration and most importantly, vibration. According to our chiropractor in Stoke on Trent, many heavy goods lorry drivers suffer from back pain due to the amount of vibrations their bodies are exposed to during their working hours. Driving also involves the constant use of your feet to control the vehicle’s pedals. When your feet are used for driving, they cannot work to stabilise and support your lower back as they normally would when you’re sitting down for long periods of time. So while you may think that driving is easy on your body, it really isn’t.
So what can you do to curb back pain while driving (apart from setting your alarm two hours earlier each morning and walking to work?)
Here are some top tips from our Stoke chiropractor:
1: Know Your Limits
Get familiar with your body’s limits by testing how long you can drive before your back pain begins. Knowing how long you can comfortably drive will allow you to schedule regular breaks that are suitable for your body. It’s also a good idea to stretch before you begin each journey, whenever it is safe to do so during your journey and after your journey ends.
2: Adjust Your Seat
Make sure your buttocks are as close as possible to the backrest. To get in a good position, you can alter the seat’s distance to the pedals so that your legs are slightly bent when you push the pedal to the floor. You should also adjust the length of your seat so that your thighs are in contact with the seat almost all the way up to the back of your knees. An easy way to check the distance between the edge of your seat and the back of your knees is to measure it with your fingers – the gap should be about two to three fingers wide.
3: Check Your Headrest
The angle of your headrest is important to maintaining a good position when driving. Our chiropractor recommends that you ensure the upper edge of your headrest is aligned with the top of your head.
4: Look After Yourself
When it comes to protecting your spine from the effects of driving, sometimes, the little things make the biggest difference. Maintaining good posture, for example, or sharing the driving with another person, can alleviate stress on your spine and help to reduce the risk of back pain. Taking care when getting in and out of your vehicle and rotating your whole body instead of twisting your back, is also a simple way to keep your spine in good health.
Remember, if daily driving is part of your job and you are experiencing back pain, talk to your employer or HR department about any help you could receive to make your duties easier. This may include changes to your vehicle, or shorter distances.
If back pain is driving you around the bend, follow these handy tips and you can steer away from back pain for good!
Take your first step towards better health and call us on 01782 848 184 today
From the team at City Chiropractic Clinic
Our Chiropractors in Stoke on Trent are here to help you