10 Tips to Reduce Back Pain While Driving

Nothing beats driving out on the open road, blasting the radio, without a care in the world. However, if you are experiencing back pain while driving, that pain can be a buzzkill whenever you get ready to go for a cruise. Whether you have a twenty-minute commute to work every day or are gearing up for a cross-country road trip, you do not want your back pain ruining the fun.

Back pain is rarely a cause for serious concern. Still, it is never a bad idea to consult a medical professional if you are continuously experiencing this issue every time you get in your car for a drive. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery is a team of highly experienced doctors that offer both non-surgical and surgical treatments for back pain and are ready to offer you the personalized care you need. So, don’t cancel those summer road trips just yet. Keep reading to learn some tips to help prevent back pain as you take to the open roads.

What Causes Back Pain While Driving?

For many people, driving becomes an action as natural as breathing. While a short commute to the office may not seem like something to even think about, it can be an excruciating ten minutes to someone experiencing back pain when they drive.

You may find it odd that you experience pain when you sit in your car seat but not when you sit in a chair in your living room or at your desk. The reason for this is the motion of your car. While operating a motor vehicle, your body is affected by acceleration and deceleration, whole-body vibrations, and moving side to side. The following list contains some other common causes of back pain while driving:

  • Bad posture
  • An accident or collision
  • Overuse of ligaments or muscles outside of driving
  • Compression fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Lifting heavy objects improperly

To prevent developing back pain while driving, try to avoid any of the above causes for smooth sailing, or driving, for all of your trips to come.

10 Best Ways to Reduce Back Pain in the Car

Experiencing back pain while driving can make you want to stop driving altogether. The situation may seem helpless, but do not give up just yet. The following tips can help you achieve relief while driving your car and allow you to get back to enjoying the trip without thinking about that shooting pain.

  1. Adjust your seat and headrest. When driving in the car, it is better to have your seat positioned forward rather than farther back for the best posture and to alleviate pressure from your back.
  2. Change your steering wheel grip. Try placing your hands at nine and three o’clock to alleviate pain in your upper back region.
  3. Create lumbar support with something as simple as a rolled-up sweatshirt or jacket placed at the small of your back.
  4. Use cruise control if your vehicle offers it. This will allow you to periodically place both feet on the floor of your car, evenly distributing your weight and relieving stress from your back.
  5. Try a heated seat, if your car has them. Turn it on for periods throughout your drive.
  6. Make a stop along the way. Something as simple as taking a break from driving and moving around can help ease your back pain.
  7. Bring an ice pack with you for a longer driver.
  8. Remove any items from your pockets, like a phone or wallet, while driving to allow you to sit flat against your seat.
  9. Stretch before you go driving and during any breaks you take.
  10. Adjust your mirror so that you do not need to twist or strain your upper body or neck at all.

If you try these tips for a few weeks and are still experiencing back pain when you drive, it is probably time to seek the help of a medical professional.

Experienced Back Doctors to Help Treat Your Back Pain

When nothing seems to help your back pain while driving, that is usually a sign that there is something more serious going on. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery has the resources and experience to help you understand your back pain and treat it. Reclaim the roads and start your journey to recovery by filling out our contact form or calling us at (855) 853-6542.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to ongoing efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities, our office hours may vary. However, our physicians will be offering ONLINE appointments during this time to address your medical needs. To learn more about this exciting new service, contact our patient advocates today!