Not many sleeps left now before the big day. For many people Christmas is a time to join family and friends for a festive celebration and this can often mean long car journeys! Of course along with long car journeys comes so often stress!
Stress and a poor seated driving posture can play havoc on the back. Our chiropractor at The Spine & Joint Centre on Ealing wants you to arrive at your journey’s end back pain free and ready to enjoy the Christmas festivities ahead. With this in mind our chiropractor has put together simple things you can go to maintain a good relaxed posture when driving. You will also find a very informative video below that will help step you through setting up your driving position to achieve this. The video also contains back safe advice should you find your self needing to change a tyre!
Driving Position Adjustments
The first step to ensure you maintain a good posture when driving is to adjust your driving position to support you. A relaxed seating position reduces the stress on your spine allowing your seat to take the weight.
Seat Position: Adjust you seat so that your hips are higher than your knees. Of course this may not be possible depending on your height so you will need to position yourself to open the angle between your back and thighs. When your seat is adjusted properly your feet should fall on the pedals naturally.
Steering Wheel: Adjust the steering wheel to the point where you feel comfortable and relaxed holding it. Too far away form you or too high will cause tension to build up in you shoulders and back. Too low and close will put strain on your wrists and other muscles in your upper back and also may cause the steering wheel rub on your legs.
Seat Belt: Adjust the seat belt for your height. The belt should not rub across your neck or fall down your arm.
Head Rest: Adjust this so that it supports your head correctly.
Mirrors: Adjust the mirrors so that you can see around the car by only glancing in the mirrors with the minimum of head movement required.
Long journey Advice
Lessen the stress by allowing more time for your journey – you know the traffic is likely to be bad so factor this in when planning your journey!
Dress for comfort rather than style! Wear comfortable, loos fitting clothes that won’t restrict your movement.
Taking regular break,s where you get out of the car and stretch your legs, every hour or so will help your back (and avoid drowsiness).
When you find yourself in traffic jam use the time to do some simple stretches. Shoulder shrugs, side bends and buttock clenches are stretches you can do in your seat. Be sure you are stationary though!
Finally keep checking your posture!
Christmas is a time for fun and relaxation so keep your back safe!
Here’s to a back pain free Christmas from all the team at The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing.