Dr. Stephanie Juffs
Back Pain while Driving
Do you have a long commute that leaves you feeling sore?
15.4 million Canadians commute to work every day. Just like sitting at your desk, sitting in your car can pose problems. You may have neck or low back soreness after driving. Musculoskeletal disorders are also a concern for those who drive for a living. According to one study, if you drive for over four hours a day, you’re six times more likely to develop back problems.
So what can you do about it?
Your car seat might have SEVERAL ways to adjust it, so spend some time with the setup to take advantage of it.
Some quick tips:
Adjust the vertical position of your seat so it is straight or just slightly reclined.
Sit so that your hips are at least as high as your knees, and be sure your legs are not fully extended.
Ensure your seat is close enough to your steering wheel so you have a slight bend in your elbows.
Adjust the lumbar support to fit your back. If you don’t have this feature, a rolled up towel in the small of your back may help. A general rule of thumb is that you need as much support as if you were to put your hand between your back and the chair.
Adjust the headrest so it is in the middle of your head, making sure it isn’t too low. You also want to make sure it isn’t too far forward. So ensure your neck is in neutral (your earlobe is aligned with the middle of your shoulder). You may need a buddy to check this one!
After adjusting your headrest and seat, you’ll have probably have to reposition your rearview mirror. This is a sign your seat was in the wrong spot! If you notice poor visibility later on, you’ll know to fix your posture.
Like any activity, you should take breaks from driving when you can!
Drive safe, and use the contact me part of my website if you have any questions!