(A poor seating position can exacerbate lower back pain)
Being trapped in the Doha traffic can be more than a pain in your brain, it can give you a back pain as well as you spend long hours on the road.
Can you imagine that four out of five people suffer from lower back pain. And while setting in the car could not be the primary cause, it certainly aggravate the problem. But before blaming car makers for making uncomfortable seats, experts think drivers should make a change about the way they set in the car.
So what can you do to alleviate Back Pain on Your Road Trips? Here are 8 tips you can follow to help you avoid back pain when driving
1. Adjust your seat
Adjust the back of your car seat to 100 degrees and the seat bottom 5 degrees upward, as advised by Douglas Krebs, D.C., a chiropractic orthopedist in Chicago. While 130 degrees is the ideal position for your back, this slightly narrower positioning allows you to rest your neck against the padding and still see the road.
2. Get comfortable immediately
Take as much time as you need before you drive away, use this time to make sure you're comfortable from the moment you set off on your trip. The smallest irritant in the beginning of your trip can turn into raging pain later.
Don't have your wallet, mobile phone, or anything else in your back pocket, as that may throw your spine out of alignment.
Reduce reaching for the steering wheel, which places more stress on the lumbar spine, neck, shoulder, and wrists. Instead, sit as close to the steering wheel to the extend your dont compromise your safety.
When setting behind the steering wheel, your back must be aligned against the back of the seat. You may need to adding extra support to the car seat. There are many specialized cushions and pillows that can help with sciatica pain or lower back pain.
3. Make your ride as smooth as possible
The worst part of the ride is the bumps in the road that jar your spine. If this is the case for you, consider driving a passenger car, rather than an SUV or pickup, which may provide a much smoother ride.
4. Get out and move around
Your spine is designed to move. Sitting in one position in a car will stiffen up your back muscles and can lead to achiness and possibly muscle spasm. If possible, plan ahead for to schedule stops, it is best to stop and move every 30 minutes. Movement stimulates blood circulation, which brings nutrients and oxygen to your lower back.
5. Avoid cooling your seat
Some cars has the feature of cooling seats. Although this feature is good during summer time in Qatar, yet setting on gold surfaces may cause you severe muscle spasm. You can use this feature but use it wisely.
6. Warm up your muscles
Warming up the lower back is a good way to alleviate pain on a long road trip. You can do this by rubbing warm creams on your lower back or use a deep heat patch.
7. Support your back with your feet
Supporting your spine starts with bottom-up leverage from your feet. Your feet need to be placed on a firm surface and at the right height to avoid transferring stress to your lower back.
It is ideal to have your knees at a right angle. This means, if your seat is too high it is best to put your feet on a footrest. If you are the driver and have the ability to use cruise control for a longer drive, you may want to do this to allow you to have both feet on the floor for periods of time.
8. Employ diversions
While it seems obvious, it bears repeating that taking your mind off your pain can be surprisingly helpful. Even if you're the driver, there are still a few options to help occupy your mind. Try a new music channel, download a podcast or listen to an audio book. Your local library will have audio books you can check out.
We wish you a very safe and very healthy driving.
The Q Motor team has included some valuable tips for you which will help you pass your driving...
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