We are most certainly on the final countdown to the great Christmas get away. Many people will be packing up their cars and taking to the roads this coming weekend to travel up and down the country to visit family and friends for Christmas. It can be an exciting time, however, it can also be extremely stressful.
It’s not uncommon for people to find that driving can trigger back pain or discomfort. You may have experienced this yourself. Not only can the stress of driving contribute to back pain your posture when driving can also be a contributory factor.
Maintaining a good posture and relaxed driving position is important to keep your back safe when driving and our chiropractors have put together some simple things you can do to improve your posture when driving and make your journey more comfortable. We have also included a video below that you can watch to help you through the process of adjusting your driving position. The video also has other advice for keeping your back safe when doing car related activities such as changing a tyre.
Maintaining a good posture and relaxed driving position
Adjusting your driving position to ensure you have a good seated posture is important.
You want to start by ensuring you are in the best seating position. Ideally your hips should be higher than your knees. If this is not possible sit in a way that opens the angle between your back and your thighs. Set your seatback slightly backwards so that when your hands are on the wheel there is a slight bend at your elbows.
Tension will build up in your shoulders and back if the steering wheel is too far away or too high. However, too low and close means it may rub on your legs putting strain on your wrists and other muscles in your upper back. You should feel comfortable and relaxed when holding the steering wheel so adjust it accordingly.
Your seat belt should be adjusted for your height. The belt should rest across the top of your shoulder and should not rub against your neck or fall off your shoulder.
Adjust the headrest to support your head correctly.
Your feet should fall naturally onto the pedals with your seat adjusted properly. You should be able to press the pedals to the floor mainly by using your ankles and maybe with some leg movement.
Set your mirrors so that you only need to glance with your eyes to be able to see all around the car keeping your head movement to a minimum.
A relaxed seating position reduces the stress on your spine allowing your seat to take the weight.
Taking a long journey this Christmas?
Remember to stop and take a break and stretch your legs every hour or so if you can.
If you are stuck in traffic why not do a few simple seated exercises such as buttock clenches, side bends and shoulder shrugs. These exercises all promote blood flow though the muscles and can reduce stress and cramp.
Wear loose clothing that won’t restrict your movement.
And finally, allow plenty of time for your journey to reduce stress and remember to keep checking you posture.
If you are suffering back pain or discomfort why not visit our chiropractors at Homewood Chiropractic in Fareham before Christmas. Our chiropractors are here to help you so why not give us a call on 01329 280 283.
Take some time to watch the video and get set up for back safe driving this Christmas.