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When Driving Causes Back Pain, See Your Chiropractor

By Stephen R. Farris

When it was first invented the automobile (car) was typically viewed as a novelty. They were often mechanical nightmares and uncomfortable to ride in. But over the decades, improvements were made. They became faster and a little more comfortable to ride in, but unlike today, Americans didn't spend a whole lot of time in them other than a short commute to work, or the occasional summer vacation trip.

Fast forward to the present, you find that more Americans are spending a lot more time behind the wheel. And depending on the type of vehicle you drive, the seat you're sitting on -- sometimes for hours on end -- may not be the most comfortable for your legs and back.

Studies have shown that driving can have an impact on your back. A few things you should take in consideration when purchasing your next vehicle -- one that I now always look for since suffering lower lumbar complications -- is seat design and comfort.

What to Look for

Comfort and adjustability are two things to look for when getting into the driver's seat. Is the seat comfortable after making adjustments to fit your body type? Move around in it, take the car for a test drive to get a feel for the seat, and to see if it can handle vehicle vibration, keeping it to the bare minimum. Other things to consider in driver seat comfort and function are:

  • Seat distance to accommodate different leg lengths
  • Seat height to accommodate different leg lengths
  • Backrest angle
  • Seat tilt (up and down in front)
  • Lumbar cushioning for support of the lower back
  • Headrest for neck support
  • Comfortable arm rest, preferably height adjustable

Not all vehicles provide seat comfort, so you may have to improvise especially if you're driving a lot. Make sure to adjust your posture from time to time to avoid posture fatigue. Take breaks often on long road trips. Try not to spend more than a couple of hours behind the wheel. Getting out and stretching your legs can make a world of difference on them, as well as your back, neck, and shoulders. If your driver's seat is uncomfortable, consider using a cushion to add comfort and support. 

When driving causes back pain, visit your local chiropractor for an all-natural, non-invasive, and non-addictive way to get the relief you need. 

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

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