Simple Guide to Protecting your back while driving

Prolonged sitting with bad posture in a poor seat can have painful consequences on the spine. While most people are lucky enough with short distance journeys, we all tend to take to the roads over the summer months. This demands an understanding of how to adjust a car seat and sit properly while driving. The last thing on our minds is the state of our backs whilst in the driving seat. There is almost twice as much pressure on your back when you are sitting incorrectly than there is if you stand up. Having and maintaining a good posture is a major step in preventing back pain. When leading a busy lifestyle, the basic warning signs of back problems can go unnoticed. Of course no one is immune from back pain, but Dr. Ben the Cork Chiropractor has some simple advice to help:

First, be sure you are not sitting on anything that could throw your alignment off (such as a wallet).
Relax – a relaxed driving position reduces stress on the spine.
Allow your seat to take your weight, try and make sure you are sitting as far back in the car seat as possible so it can support you fully.
Adjust the seat forward/backward to a point where you are comfortable. Your feet should easily touch the pedals. You should be at a distance from the steering wheel that is comfortable for your arms. You should have easy access to all controls. This is important, since excessive reaching can place more stress on the spine.
Your head should hit the headrest at the level of your eyes. If the rest is too low, this can result in more traumas to the neck during an accident. You should be able to easily rest your head on the headrest without tilting your head back.
Finally, adjust the lumbar support if possible to help place your spine in a slightly arched or lordotic position. If this is not available on your seat, use a towel-roll to build the lumbar support. Most automobile seats are already constructed with a lumbar support built in. Often the support is either too high or too low. If the lumbar support is not adjustable, a towel roll will come in handy.

No posture is good posture if maintained for too long (greater than 10-30 minutes, depending on the individual). Therefore, it is important to move often while you are driving, but in a way that is not distracting.
Get in touch to find out how Optimal Chiropractic in Ballincollig can help you fix the cause of your back pain, call us on 021 487 8465. You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Dr. Benjamin Martin is a Chiropractor and speaker on Health and Wellbeing. Ben is regularly called on to discuss health topics and chiropractic on radio, tv and press. His promise is to adjust and educate as many families as possible towards optimal health. His work changes lives and has restored people's quality of life.
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