Physical Therapy Tips for Driving with Back Pain

Why does doing something as simple as driving trigger low back pain, even though it’s not exactly a strenuous activity?  Well, the answer is simple, driving for long periods of time exposes the body to many different forces such as acceleration, sudden stops, and vibrations from the road.  Driving also requires the use of your feet to control the car’s pedals instead of being used to stabilize and support your lower body as they normally would while sitting.

lots of back pain after a long drive in car

Here 6 tips to help driver with back pain…

  1. Get Comfortable

Something that starts out as a small irritation can quickly grow into unbearable pain. So, before you start your journey, even if it is a short one, take a moment to get comfortable. Adjust your seat properly by putting your hand at the 12 o’clock position so you can reach the steering wheel with a slight bend in the elbow.  This will make sure you don’t have to turn awkwardly and strain your body.=

  1. Adjust Your Mirrors

Make sure your mirrors are properly positioned so you don’t have to twist or move your body in order to see out of them properly. Your rear-view mirror should be tilted up slightly to make you sit up straight.  You should only have to move your eyes to be able to see out of your mirrors.

  1. Use a Towel for Support

Car seats don’t normally support the curve of your back so, if you are in need of additional support, roll up a towel and place it behind your lower back to apply light pressure to the arch of the back   This will help you to maintain good posture and prevent back pain in the long run.

  1. Take Breaks

If you are driving for more than an hour, stop and take a break. Stopping around every hour or so will help to reduce stiffness and ease tension. When you take a break, do some gentle twists to loosen the body up. If your neck and shoulders are feeling tense – try shrugging and rolling your shoulders back and forth, then rolling your neck from side to side.

  1. Cruise Control

If your car has cruise control, use it when you can – on long stretched of road when it’s quiet with no traffic. While using it, place your feet on the floor so your legs form a 90-degree angle and gently push them down into the floor. This will help naturally support your spine and put you in a neutral position without having to press down on the pedal constantly.

  1. Exercise Regularly

Adding exercise into your routine, even just 2-3 times a week, will help you release tension, strengthen your back muscles, and help maintain and healthy posture. Cardio exercises like cycling, walking and swimming are great for overall fitness, and weights are perfect for improving muscle strength.

Put these simple tips in place to lessen your low back pain, Click Here to Schedule your appointment now!

Intecore Physical Therapy is known as the Bremerton physical therapy, Silverdale physical therapy, Port Orchard physical therapy, and Kitsap physical therapy clinic of choice!

Andrew Vertson

Physical Therapist at Intecore Physical Therapy
Andrew received his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from California State University, Fresno in 1991. He then earned his Master’s degree of Physical Therapy in 1996 and his Doctorate degree of Physical Therapy in 2002 from Loma Linda University. In 1996 he also earned his Certification as an Athletic Trainer. He has also completed extensive post-graduate course work in orthopedic manual therapy through Kaiser-West Los Angeles and the Ola Grimsby Institute.
Andrew Vertson

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