HOW TO AVOID BACK PAIN IN THE CAR
You might not yearn for one of these, but honestly the amount some people spend trying to get their back fixed could buy one! Well maybe enough to hire one.
YOUR CAR IS DESIGNED FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON
But we are not all average. You have to pay a fair bit of money for adjustable lumbar supports and I know that changes to design can mean a car that worked fantastically well for you in a previous model could be totally wrong in the updated version.
With so many of us sitting for hours on end and suffering with lower back pain, do what you can to avoid aggravating the problem. Instead of rushing off to get where you need to go, take some time to set up the driving position to take some of the strain off your spine.
YOU SPENT A LOT OF MONEY OF IT..At least spend some time on getting it as comfortable as you can when you drive it.
So when you sit at the wheel check the following..
Steering Wheel. Put both hands together in front of your chest, are your fingers pointing directly to the centre of the steering wheel? If not why not? Is the steering wheel offset somehow?
You need about 25 to 30 cms between your chest/ driver’s breast bone and the wheel for your seatbelt and airbag to be of maximum use in the event of an accident.
If you can tilt your steering wheel up or down, adjust it so that the centre of it faces your chest NOT your face. Again, really important if the air bag is deployed. So not pointing at your head or neck or your stomach.
Back of the seat. You want the back of the seat to support the full length of your spine when you are upright. If you have it too far back, you will end up with the forward head posture and create more issues with your neck, shoulder problems, tingling in your fingers.
How high should your seat be? This will affect your vision through the windscreen. You want to be able to see minimum of 76mm over the top of the wheel. Don’t adjust your mirrors until you have totally finished the setup of your seat position.
How far forward should your seat be? You need to be easily able to push the pedals with the whole of your foot, not just the toes.
Where should your thighs/knees be? You need the seat cushion to support your thighs but not putting any pressure at the back of your knees.
Head restraint. The top of the head restraint should be level with the top of your head.
Give some thought to your driving position, especially if you have back problems.
Even if you don't but you spend a lot of time driving you could be storing up problems. Good posture is essential to our health and well being and years of abuse cannot be undone overnight.
Prevention is always much better than seeking a cure for the pain of neglect.
Karen Grinter, Mum, Pilates Teacher, Back Pain and Exercise Specialist, Business Owner and Millie's Owner!
"Pilates in my practice is mainstream, and Northants Pilates is a first class outfit that I wholeheartedly endorse."
Mr Nick Birch, Consultant Spinal Surgeon