9 Proven Ways to Improve Driving Posture

All too often we see patients at the Geelong Osteopathy Group who suffer back pain whilst driving. Generally with the correct advice and ergonomic adjustments this can be remedied and significantly improved!

Read on for our handy hints on achieving the optimal driving set-up.

Image result for car driving posture

1. Remove items from your pockets

Take out items such as wallets, keys or phones from your pockets and stow them the appropriate compartments. Not only will this make for a more comfortable drive, it will remove any undue pressure from your lumbo-pelvic region that may be contributing to back pain.

2. Correctly position items that you may need during your drive

Put items such as sunglasses, tissues or water bottles in easily accessible compartments. You should place them in a way that is easy for you to reach. This will prevent the all too common “I was twisting to grab my… in the car” back injury.

3. Buckle up…. in comfort!

When you buckle up check to make sure that the straps are not twisted, have a comfortable tension and adjust them accordingly. In the event that you still straps uncomfortable consider attaching some foam to the offending part of the strap. Handy hint! Soft pipe insulation works really well for this.

4. Mirrors

Adjust both your rear vision and side mirrors to ensure that you aren’t straining your neck whilst driving. A top tip is to set your mirrors in the morning and then re-check them in the evening. If an adjustment is required, this may indicate a loss of postural control and awareness. Don’t worry though this is common and is something you can discuss with your health professional.

5. Back support

The lower part of your back should feel supported! You should start by scooting your tail bone as far back as possible and then adjust lumbar support according. Top tip! If your car doesn’t have lumbar support, use a small rolled towel, pillow or lumbar aid placed in the small of your back. This will achieve the same result.

6. Back tilt

As a rule the least amount of pressure on the spine occurs when your seat back is slightly reclined. Keep in mind that your seat back should contact and fully support the length of your back.

Image result for correct car posture and ergonomics
Correct back tilt position

7. Seat pan tilt

This one is really important and is often overlooked! When seated in your car look at the alignment of your hips in relation to your knees. Your hips should be sitting slightly higher than your knees. In most instances this will not be the case and you will need to elevate the height of the seat pan.

8. Steering wheel positioning

Now that you have expertly set up your seat you will need to consider you driving position in relation to the steering wheel. The optimal steering wheel position is achieved when your arms are outstretched in a relaxed manner and your wrist are comfortably resting at the 10 & 2 o’clock position on the steering wheel. To achieve this, you may have to adjust the positioning of the steering wheel column. If that proves too difficult an allied health professional will be able to assist you.

9. Plan ahead!

Nothing conquers back pain better than regular stretching and functional exercise. So that means prior to each car trip consider planned breaks to rest, revive and survive!

“Looking for an Osteopath in Geelong or need an ergonomic car assessment performed, our team is ready to help. Call us 0455 507 710 or BOOK ONLINE”

About our Osteopaths

Dr Alastair Tehan and Dr Jessica Nicholls are experienced Osteopaths with a broad range of skills and techniques that may assist you to recover from injury and improve your health. In addition to their 20+ years of clinical experience they hold senior University appointments making them uniquely positioned to provide holistic, evidence based Osteopathic care.

Find out more about them here.

This article is for information purposes only. Please consult your Osteopath or primary healthcare professional for further information.

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