Lower back pain is the scourge of a sizeable portion of the American public. Indeed, according to the ACA, some 31 million U.S. citizens suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. For a few, the problem is mild; for others, it is a chronic issue defined by discomfort. And these problems are only exacerbated by common activities such as flying, sitting in an office chair for extended periods of time, and, yes, even driving. For many back-pain sufferers, that long road trip or weekend drive brings with it the promise of aches and pains.
But while this affliction is a common one, there is no need for the average person to resign him or herself to a life of lower back pain. In fact, there are plenty of things the average person can do to alleviate discomfort each and every time they get in the car. Here are just a few of them.
Adjust the seat
This is an obvious yet very specific remedy for curbing back pain while on the road. Those who do experience chronic pain behind the wheel should ensure their seat is adjusted each and every time they hop in the car. And the good news is that many of today’s automobiles have multiple seat settings. Experts recommend raising or lowering the seat so that it is 85 degrees to the floor. This will particularly help those who suffer stiffness in the spinal area. And whenever possible the seat’s height needs to be adjusted to the point the driver is not leaning or slouching unnecessarily.
There are right ways and wrong ways to sit for those who want to ease pressure on the lower back. One rule of thumb that applies to both car and airline seats involves sitting in such a way that involves keeping the knees at a right angle to one another. This simple posture alleviates much stress on the lower spine.
Utilize an additional cushion
Those who have older vehicles that don’t allow for much seat movement may want to consider bringing along a seating pad or back roll. There are a wide variety of these items on the market tailored for a number of different lower back-pain issues. Also, many of these items are approved by the American Chiropractic Association.
Stretch when possible
Those who have a bit of legroom in their car will want to utilize it from time to time and stretch. Drivers without this option should consider pulling over occasionally in order to get out and take a moment to move around. Many commuters and folks otherwise pressed for time will likely scoff at this idea, but it is worth it. Lower back pain sufferers understand more than most the painful signals the body gives off. In these instances, the body is screaming for even the slightest amount of relief. To this end, it’s best to give the body what it wants.
While the above strategies may not cure back pain forever, they should provide enough noticeable relief that the driver can get behind the wheel without hesitation. More than that, by adhering to these methods, the average person promotes good overall lower back health for the long term.
Eric Lane is a professional blogger that provides information on the latest motorcycle news. He writes for Butty Buddy, the most comfortable motorcycle passenger seats on the market