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Important Tips to Save You from Back Pain While Driving

Whether it’s the daily commute or a fun road trip, you probably spend a lot of time sitting behind the steering wheel. Frequent long drives can cause pain in your back that will likely only worsen unless you start doing the following tips:

Adjust the steering wheel
Make sure your steering wheel is within easy reach. You do not want to be stretching forwards as this will strain your back. Your wrists should be able to rest comfortably on the top of the steering wheel whilst your shoulders are pressed back into your seat. Source: TheJournal

Align the seat to your spine
Adjust the back of the seat, so that it provides support along the whole length of your spine up to your shoulder level.  Do not recline the seat too much as this will have an adverse effect on your neck, causing it to bend forward excessively. Source: Express

Make your ride as smooth as possible
For many, the worst part of the ride is the bumps in the road that jar your spine. If this is the case for you, consider these options:

  • Riding in passenger car, rather than an SUV or pickup, may provide a much smoother ride
  • Replacing worn shocks on the car can limit the bounce in the car
  • Similarly, replacing worn tires can a be helpful. Some people find that a slight reduction in the tire pressure can also smooth out the ride
  • Consider sitting on a pillow made for a chair seat, such as a coccyxpillow, or a car seat cushion, to provide a bit of extra cushioning between you and the road. Source: Spine-Health

Apply ice or heat
If you still have back pain while driving, stop for a stretch and put an ice pack against your back when you’re sitting. Ice packs help relieve back pain by numbing the area and reducing inflammation. There are disposable/portable ice and heat packs available for purchase, so if you have a few on hand, you can alternate heat and cold every 20 minutes or so. Source: EverydayHealth

You don’t have to suffer from the excruciating pain that you hoped would go away on its own, but hasn’t yet. Find relief from back pain, and more, when you call us today!


Dr. Brian Floyd
3721 Delbrook Ave #119, North Vancouver, BC V7N 3Z4
(604) 987-7100

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