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Suggestions to reduce neck and back pain while driving

You will find nearly 9 out of 10 people suffering from neck and back pain these days. There are several factors that lead to this type of pain for example, trauma, medical issues, stress on neck muscles etc. But the most leading cause of neck and back pain is due to activities that involve holding your head straight and using upper body along with arms for quite a long time which can lead to stiff neck and back pain. This is the exact position when you drive a car. Driving a car could be a very painful and uncomfortable activity especially for people who have to drive for long hours either to reach their office or when going out for a long road trip.
It is necessary to follow these suggestions to reduce neck and back pain while driving:

  • Take up a comfortable posture as soon as you get into your car. Take some time to adjust your position to feel most comfortable. If you feel discomfort at the start of your journey, it could cause immense pain later. Make sure that you do not have a wallet, cell phone, cards etc. in the back pocket of your pants, as it might hinder the proper alignment of your spine. Pull your seat forward so that you can reach the steering wheel easily, this avoids pressure on the lumbar spine, shoulder, neck and wrists. Sit straight with chin pulled in a bit. Rest your back on the back-rest of your seat. Maybe you might need a comfortable cushion to provide support to your back while driving.
  • Drive on a smooth road and make your ride comfortable for your body. If there are many bumps while your drive, chances are your spine would get affected. It is better to ride in a passenger car than a SUV. If you are driving your personal car, check for the worn out shocks as it increases the bouncing effect. Replace it without delay. Worn out tiers should be replaced as well.
  • Take a break in between while driving for long hours. Get out of your car and move around for some time. This will help you loosen your back muscles and prevent muscle spasm and back stiffness. Movement will help in blood circulation and a few stretches like ankle stretch, knee stretch can help considerably.
  • Warm up a little before getting in your car for long drives. Keep a heat pad in your car and turn on by using dashboard power source whenever you want to feel warm. It helps alleviate pain. Also, you can use heat wraps that can be applied directly on your back. It provides low amount of heat continuously and lasts for 6 hours.
  • Firmly place your feet on the surface and at the correct height so as to provide support to your back. Knees should be ideally at right angle.
  • Listen to some good music to divert your mind from the back and neck pain. This is quite helpful and soothes your pain too.
  • If possible, avoid straining your eyes. Poor vision leads you to bend forward, causing pressure on your neck muscles. Get your eye-sight checked if you are frequently driving to longer distances.

Experiencing any neck pain or back pain and live around the Paramus area, please consider calling Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation and schedule your FREE assessment today!  We are proud to offer physical therapy services to Paramus and the surrounding area.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
Tom Willemann

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