While driving car, we need to see our posture so that we can prevent back/neck pain while driving. This is most important for persons who drive regularly for long hours (greater than or around 3-4 hours) to work and back to home, or persons with driving jobs.

Here are few tips which can help people prevent spine pain during car driving:

1. Sit comfortable during driving:

Keep your back pockets empty or it may lead to pelvis & spine misalignment.  

Sit up straight with your knees slightly higher than your hips, and keep your chin pulled in so that your head sits straight on top of your spine. 

Sit at a comfortable distance from the steering wheel: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises sitting with your chest at least 10 inches from the steering wheel, and keeping your hands on the wheel at 9’o and 3 o’clock positions (the sides rather than the top of the steering).  

Keep your back aligned against the back of your seat or place a small pillow or rolled-up cloth between your lower back and the seat. Also, there are many specialized cushions and pillows that can help with sciatica pain and lower back pain

Avoid Reclining too back, which will strain your head and neck forward. Avoid forward bending to avoid neck pain. Position your mirrors so that you can easily see all around without straining your back or neck. 

2. Make your ride as smooth as possible:

Avoid Bumps in the road. Slow down your car on speed breakers. 

Get new shock-ups or repair old ones in your car. 

Proper wheel alignment to reduce vibration or shaking. 

Sit on a car seat pillow or coccyx cushion to provide more padding between you and the road.

3. Get out and move around:

Everyone should ideally take at least a 15-minute break for every 2 hours of driving. 

If you’re prone to back pain, then take breaks more frequently, such as every 30 to 60 minutes.

4. Shift your position periodically:

When possible, try to move a little in your seat or tuck in your abdomen usually every 15 to 20 minutes.

Pump your ankles to keep the blood flowing and provide a slight stretch in your hamstring muscles.

5. Try cold or heat therapy:

 Ice or Cold therapy can help reduce inflammation and swelling.  

 Heat therapy can help increase blood flow and relax the muscles.  

It is recommended to apply ice or heat for only 10 or 15 minutes at a time or use pre-heated back supports for back. 

6. Support your back with your feet: 

Your feet need to be placed on a firm surface and your knees at a right angle to legs. 

During long-distance driving, you can remove your foot from brake/clutch pedal and place them on car mattings.

7. Employ diversions from pain: Talk to your partner or listen to some good music to take your mind off the pain:

If you still feel that your back or neck is paining while driving, then take opinion of Pain specialist. Thank you.