How To Prevent Back Pain While Driving

October 7, 2014

How does driving cause back pain?

There are a number of reasons why driving may be bad to your back. First of all, when driving, especially driving during rush hours, your body is tensed and ready to avoid possible trouble. After a while, your back and neck muscles can tighten up and cause discomfort. Second, when driving for a long distance, you sit in the same position for an extended period, which puts extra stress on your spine. Third, when driving for a long distance, your body suffers from constant whole-body vibration. Over time, this can cause damage and lead to back pain; if you already have back pain, the vibration can make it worse.

Is there a way to reduce back pain while driving?

Although driving can be bad to your back, the good news is there are things you can do to make it easier on you. The following strategies can help reduce back pain while driving.

  • Sit in a back-friendly driving position. When it comes to cars and car seats, there is no one size fits all model. Adjust the position of your car seat to find an ideal driving position for your body. When sitting in such a position, your arms and legs should not be fully extended, and your lower back should be fully supported.
  • Maintain good posture. Once you find your ideal driving position, sit straight so that your spine is in proper alignment.
  • Take periodic breaks. If it’s possible, take frequent breaks to stretch your neck, back, and legs.
  • Use lumbar support. If your car seat provides lumbar support, adjust the seat so that your lower back is comfortably supported. If not, you may buy a car seat cushion to support your lower back.

Is it possible to avoid back pain from driving?

While it’s near impossible to avoid driving completely, especially if you live in an area where public transportation is inadequate, or if driving is your occupation, it’s possible to ease and even avoid back pain from driving. When driving, try to use the strategies listed above to ease back pain. When not driving, make an effort to exercise frequently to keep your back core muscles strong. Strong back and core muscles can help avoid and reduce back pain by keeping the back straight and the spine in proper alignment. If you are overweight, lose the excess weight; it can help reduce the pressure on your back and thus reduce the chance of having back pain.