How To Prevent Back Pain While Driving – Part 2

The following blog post How To Prevent Back Pain While Driving – Part 2 is due to The House Clinics – Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Clinic

Good posture for driving

In our previous article, we talked about how common it was for people to report that driving seems to make their back pain worse.

We dealt with the issue of why this happens and helped to uncover the causes of your back pain while driving. We talked about how adjusting your seat and lumbar support, as well as your rear view mirror can help improve your driving posture.

In this article, we’re going to cover other adjustments you can make to your driving conditions that will help to improve things even further.

Remember, if you have any questions at all, you can always get in touch with one of our chiropractors or physiotherapists at The House Clinics. We’re more than happy to provide you any support you need.

Seat belts are vital element of car travel, and one which is often blamed for back aches. Although the tension across one shoulder and neck can be uncomfortable, it may save your life so the best thing is to make it as comfortable as possible.

The best way to do this is to make sure the seatbelt is fitted to your body, thereby providing maximum support with minimal discomfort.

The seatbelt should lie across the top of your shoulder and not on the top of your arm and definitely not across your neck. Depending on your height you should take the time to move the fitting on the wall of the car which will adjust the height at which the seatbelt crosses you.

Car pedals

Footwear and positioning is such a simple but often overlooked aspect of car driving that can play a large part in your comfort while driving. Having adjusted the seat your feet should land at the pedals without having to overreach with your leg.

You should be able to fully press the pedal to the floor with only foot and ankle movement and a little bit of leg movement.

In terms of the footwear, definitely avoid high heels or very thick soled shoes as this will make you over-extend your ankle to put pressure on the pedals. High heeled shoes also make it harder to brake in an emergency and also cause you to lift the thigh off the seat slightly, thereby reducing leg support.

Similarly, be aware of the clothing you choose, tight clothing will restrict your movement and contribute to bad posture while driving.

The final piece of advice is to take regular breaks, particularly with a long journey. You should try to stop and stretch your legs at the very minimum every two hours, but more often is better.

In an ideal world you would leave early to allow plenty of time for the journey and stop to stretch and walk around every half hour. If this seems impossible there are other things you can do to help. We are now quite used to the in flight exercises on long haul flights; well you can do a similar thing during a long car journey.

For example when stuck in traffic, try these exercises in your seat. Try buttock clenches, rolling your shoulders, and upper body side bends.

Hopefully this article will give you some pointers to try to ward off that back pain while driving. If you continue to get symptoms try visiting your local chiropractor for further advice and treatment.


How To Prevent Back Pain While Driving – Part 1

The blog post How To Prevent Back Pain While Driving – Part 1 can be obtained from The House Clinics in Bristol

How to avoid back pain while driving

When speaking to patients with back pain, one of the most common complaints is that driving seems to make it worse. Treatments such as physiotherapy (click here for more info) or chiropractic, both of which you can find at The House Clinics, can help correct bad posture, but there is clearly a pattern here and this article will explore why travelling by car can make the pain worse, and what you can do to prevent this.

The reason back pain comes on or gets worse while driving is largely due to inactivity and poor posture. Particularly with longer journeys the postural muscles that hold us upright begin to fatigue and we end up in a more slumped position.

At this stage the ergonomic design of the seat plays a large part as you will tend to rely on support from the car seat to support your back. Establishing the ideal driving position is difficult as people’s height and weight vary widely, but here are a few tips and tricks to give you the best chance of arriving pain free.

Firstly if you share the car, then each time you get in make sure you move the seat back to the right position for you. The back of the seat should be set back slightly and your elbows should be at a comfortable angle for driving otherwise you will end up leaning forwards which gives tension in your shoulders and upper back.

Back Pain

If necessary adjust the lumbar support or use a cushion in your low back. Your hands should fall naturally onto the steering wheel to prevent leaning forwards and there should be a slight bend in the arms. Having adjusted the seat and steering wheel, check that there is the recommended ten inches of distance between you and the airbag cover on the steering wheel.

The next checks to make are the mirrors. The mirrors should be turned to you, rather than the other way around. This means you want to be able to check all mirrors with minimal head movements, as the more you have to make an effort to see out of the mirrors the more strain you will put on your neck and back. You should be able to see all around the car simply by moving your eyes.

In our next article, we’ll talk about the effect of seat belts and the importance of footwear. Check back soon as we will be posting part 2 very soon.

Thanks for reading and we hope you found that helpful.


What examination and diagnosis should you expect from your Chiropractor?

The following entry What examination and diagnosis should you expect from your Chiropractor? was first discovered on The House Clinics Blog

Chiropractic Spinal Adjustment

Many people are becoming more aware of their own health and taking a more active approach to maintaining it. In the past it has been very common to pop a pill for every ailment but increasingly people are looking for alternatives. One area of heath care in which this is particularly evident is in physical medicine. People with musculoskeletal type problems including some types of back pain and neck pain are no longer content to take painkillers. Increasingly there is a tendency to seek out manual treatments for their physical problem. This is where chiropractic comes in, as chiropractors use manipulation to restore normal joint movement and function, thereby reducing pain.

The problem is that many people who could clearly benefit from chiropractic treatment ( are hesitant to try any physical therapy because they are worried how uncomfortable the treatment will be. This article will help to alleviate your concerns, providing straight forward explanations of what chiropractic treatment involves, and how it can benefit you.

At your first appointment your chiropractor will discuss your problem with you, this is called a case history and involves asking you specific questions about how long the symptoms have been there, how the problem came about and movements or activities that make the symptoms worse. After finding out all the details about your problem your chiropractor will then perform an examination wherever the problem may be. This involves testing flexibility, strength, testing for areas of tenderness and specific diagnostic tests. Although gowns will be available for your use, some people find it helpful to change into a pair of comfortable shorts and/or a vest top to make examination of knees, ankles, shoulders and other areas easier and more comfortable, so think about taking a pair of shorts or a vest top along to your appointment.

Following an in depth consultation and examination your chiropractor may offer treatment almost immediately. However, it may be delayed for a day or two is she/he needs to order x-rays or obtain any other information from your GP. Before starting treatment, your chiropractor will tell you, in clear, simple language, what the diagnosis is (ie. what is wrong with you), what can be done about it and what you should expect when you receive your first treatment. You will probably be told about any exercises or changes to your lifestyle that could help speed your recovery. You will also be advised of the estimated time of recovery; the amount of treatment needed, and advised of the cost of further treatment.  

Once you have had the diagnosis and treatment plan fully explained to you, treatment can begin. Chiropractic treatment involves safe, specific spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine or other areas that are not moving properly. This manipulation requires a short thrust to a joint that can result in an audible ‘popping’ sound and may bring relief of symptoms. The ‘pop’ is simply the sound of bubbles of gas popping in the fluid of the joint as the pressure is released. The goal of treatment is to get you better but with all types of physical treatment there may be some post-treatment tenderness. Getting movement back into stiff areas and working on the muscles can cause some achiness the following day or two but this is usually replaced by improvement in symptoms soon after.

As well as manipulation, your chiropractor may use a variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture and lifestyle. If you have questions about any of these, just speak to your chiropractor.

If you’re not sure as to whether chiropractic is the best way forward, there is always the choice of seeing a physiotherapist. If you’d like to find out more about how physiotherapy can help you, then click here for further information.