Take Care Of Your Back While Driving
Travelling has become the lifeline of this era and the roads are flooded with cars, trucks, buses, motorbikes, and whatnot. People don’t just travel for work but do it for fun as well and a vast majority of the population is currently owning some sort of a vehicle. This amounts to a huge number of hours devoted solely to driving, and driving is responsible for so many back-related issues each year that it might amaze you.
While similar to sitting in posture, driving is a very dynamic process. Your body is under the effect of many forces and movements. The feet are being constantly used with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake. Moreover, the body is constantly vibrating as you’re sitting in a moving car. This means that the body can’t be stabilized by using the feet and needs external assistance. This inability of the body to support itself properly while driving is a big cause behind back issues.
While the spine has its own natural frequency of 4-5hz, a moving vehicle can tamper with it and cause discomfort in the lower back. Long-term subjection to car vibration not only damages the lower back but also inflicts damage to the neck area.
Long hours driving in incorrect postures can cause postural back pain, knee pain, headache, stiffness in joints, restricted ROM, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, Epicondylitis, Cramps in calves, etc.
The design of the car seat greatly impacts the health of the back. An ideal car seat should have adjustable height, back incline, and bottom depth. The seat bottom should have a sturdy foam to properly position the buttocks but it shouldn’t be too hard as that can also strain the lower back and hips area. The seat should have inbuilt shock absorbers and should be adjustable linearly to help short people reach the pedals.
While buying a car, you need to look for the features mentioned below. There are certain requirements that make a car seat ideal and while you may not find all the specifications, you can follow these suggestions to make the optimal use of your car seat and prevent back problems.
- Always make sure you’re comfortable while driving and all the adjustments feel right for your body. Stretches should be done before and after driving.
- Be sure to stretch all the neck, back, thigh, and calf muscles.
- Strengthen abdominal muscles.
- Do not forget to change hand grippers after every 6 months.
- Keep hands warm, wear hand gloves, and proper footwear while driving for a prolonged period.
- Maintain a good posture while driving and change it from time to time to help the body relax and avoid strain on a single area.
- Driving for long hours without taking breaks can wreak havoc on your spine and therefore you should avoid it as much as possible.
- To minimize fatigue and discomfort caused by driving take short breaks in your trip by standing up and moving around a little.
There are a number of seat modifications that can help in further readjustments to provide more comfort such as seat covers and neck rests or cushions.
The key to preventing backache is awareness about the correct postures to be maintained while sitting and getting in and out of the car. Move the seat far back while getting out of the car and do not twist while reaching for things in the back.
Your back will support you if you do not push its limits and by taking care of it you can prevent a multitude of problems that people nowadays are facing due to the current lifestyle.