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Avoid Pain While Driving

By Paul Rothbart

Driving is the most common way people get around. Going to work, grocery shopping, seeing friends. Driving one's own car is convenient and for many, a lot of fun. But remaining seated in one position, hands on the wheel, for extended periods can cause pain or discomfort. This is especially true on long trips. Transportation is important for many reasons. So, do we just grin and bear it? No, we do not have to give in to pain. Here are some tips to avoid experiencing during or after driving.

Seat Adjustment

Set the seat as close to the wheel as comfort will allow. While in driving position, your knees should be slightly higher than your hips. You can check this by sliding four fingers under your thigh, close to your knee. They should move in and out easily. Your seat position should allow your elbows to be slightly bent while holding the wheel.

Lumbar Support

Support of the lower back is very helpful to avoid pain and possible back issues. When buying a car, the support the driver's seat provides should be a serious consideration. My wife, who has back problems, always spends time during a test drive focusing on how her back feels. If your car does not have sufficient lumbar support, purchase a back cushion that will do so. This is one of the best things you can do for your back while driving.

Hand Position

Rather than the standard 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock position, try alternating between a 3 o'clock and 7 o'clock position and 10 and 5. This will reduce tension on the hands and arms. Keeping any part of the body in one position for long periods is never a good idea.

Steering Wheel Grip

Rather than a firm grip on the wheel for the entire drive, tighten and loosen the grip regularly. This will keep the circulation going in the hands. It will also reduce the amount of fatigue in the hands, wrists, and arms. Your drive will be much more comfortable.

Exercise Your Legs

Doing some leg exercises while driving will help reduce fatigue and discomfort as well as prevent swelling. Simple move will suffice. Spread your toes as wide as you can and hold for a count of 10. Tighten your calves for a count of five and repeat for your thighs and glutes. Make sure to keep your eyes on the road and the car under control while doing this.

Driving is an effective way to get where you need to be and also can be pleasurable. Like any other activity that requires remaining in one position, it can also be stressful to the body. Follow these tips and take periodic rests on really long trips. Your driving experience will be more comfortable and your body will be happy.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Montgomery, Ala.

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