For those suffering from back spasm pain, driving for any length of time can be an especially torturous affair. Motorists are forced to remain in a sitting position in a relatively confined space. Unfortunately, not driving isn’t usually an option for many.
There are some ways to minimize the pain while driving, especially during long trips. While driving its more about pain management and prevention…
Tips for Driving with Back Pain
Back pain can be almost insufferable for those stuck in a vehicle. For many, though, driving is a necessity of life, whether it’s for work or simply for running errands. Keep these tips in mind when getting behind the wheel.
*Keep wallets or cell phones somewhere other than in one of the back pockets. This can cause the body to tilt one way or another, putting undue stress on the hips. Inside coat pockets work well for guys, or purses or bags for women.
*Be sure to sit in the proper position. To find the correct spot, sit in the seat and pull the feet back as far as possible. Lean forward, lift the pelvis off the seat and push it into the seat as much as possible. Adjust the closeness of the seat if necessary.
*Take regular breaks whenever necessary. Pull over, if possible, and walk around and perform some back stretches. The length of time between breaks will be different for each person depending on the severity of their back situation. If traveling with others, especially on very long journeys, take turns driving. Not only will this provide a chance to take a small break, but riding as a passenger can be less stressful on the back than driving. There is also more opportunity to be able to switch positions as a passenger.
*A heat pad can often ease aches and pains. Purchase one that can last for several hours but is also thin enough that it won’t provide additional discomfort. Relief may also be found by using the heated seats of a vehicle, if available.
*Make sure the steering wheel is at the correct height and angle for the body. To determine the best position, the hands should be placed at the 9 and 3 spots on the wheel. The hands should then be in line with the shoulders. If not, excess strain could be put on the shoulders and neck muscles.
*Check the positioning of the seat. Drivers should be able to reach the pedals without having to strain to do so. Make sure the knees are neither fully extended nor bent too much. If they are, they cannot provide the proper support and may restrict the flow of blood.
*Purchase a lumbar support cushion to take along. This can help keep the back in the proper alignment position. Alternatively, you can create your own lumbar support by taking a towel and rolling it up. Then place this roll behind your lower back in your chair. The benefit of this is it supports and reinforces the natural curves in your spine.
*Do not grip the steering wheel too tight while driving. Doing so will tire out the muscles in the shoulders and arms, increasing the strain on the spine.
*Be sure to drink plenty of water, especially on longer trips. Becoming dehydrated can impede the discs of the spine from doing their job as shock absorbers.
Those not experiencing back spasm pain rarely give a second thought to long road trips. Those that do have back problems, however, know the sitting position can apply pressure to the spine which only gets worse over time. By taking a few precautions, the pain can be minimized to make a trip more enjoyable for anyone involved.
Jane Simpson believes it’s essential to take care of your back when driving and to take precautions to minimize the pain. She writes for a site that offers a useful http://www.onlineloancalculator.org to help determine the monthly cost of purchasing a new car.