No one likes sitting in traffic jams, however, it was estimated that in 2014 in the UK people spent on average 30 hours a year sitting in traffic.
Whilst sitting in traffic can be frustrating and often extremely annoying (as well as bad for the wallet and the environment) it can also be detrimental to your back.
Sitting in one position for an extended period can put strain on your back especially if your seating position does not adequately support your back.
Making a few adjustments can make a significant difference
It often surprises our patients when they visit one of our experienced chiropractors in our clinic in Fareham that spending time in their car can be a contributory factor to their back pain.
In these cases our chiropractors will advise the patient of changes to make to their driving position, and other advice, that will help protect their back.
Simple measures to protect your back when driving
The most important thing to get right is your driving position, so you must ensure that your seat, steering wheel, mirrors and seatbelt are all adjusted to suit you before starting out on any journey.
The seat – The back of the seat should be set slightly backwards so that it feels natural. If you get this right your elbows should also be relaxed and feel comfortable.
Steering wheel – If your seat has been adjusted correctly your hands should fall nicely on the steering wheel, with only a slight bend in your arms.
Mirrors – As you should remember from your driving test, you need to be able to see all of your mirrors from your driving position without having to move your head too much. Make sure your mirrors are set up accordingly so that you can see all around your car using mostly your eye movement with very little head movement.
Seatbelt – Another indicator that you’re in the correct driving position will be the seatbelt. It must never rest on your neck or fall on to the top of your arm. It must always lie across the top of your shoulder.
Footwear – Always check your footwear is appropriate for any activity you take part in. It is often one of our most common pieces of advice as busy Fareham chiropractors that we suggest and it is certainly relevant for driving. Avoid heels and clunky boots to allow you to drive safely.
Relax, take a break and do some exercises – When you are driving keep checking yourself to ensure that you are in a relaxed driving position. Not only will you avoid building up tension in your body but it will ensure the seat takes all your body weight.
Remember to take regular breaks especially if you are driving long distances or have been stuck in traffic for some time. This is a good time to do some simple stretches.
Even if you are stuck in traffic you can take the opportunity to do some exercises* in your seat which will help. Buttock clenches, side bends, seat braces and shoulder shrugs and circles can all be done in the car.
Finally remember to always leave enough time for your journey to avoid any additional stress.
Our team of Chiropractors in Fareham are here to help you
If you are suffering back pain or have discomfort, or you have any questions or are seeking more detailed and specific advice then do please get in touch. You can contact us at Homewood Chiropractic Clinic on 01329 280 283 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Seek medical advice prior to starting any new exercise routine.