Top 3 Ways Driving can Cause Back Pain

According to a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Americans spend an average of roughly 293 hours annually driving a motor vehicle. Over 87.5% of Americans above the age of 16 were found to have driven a vehicle in 2015. With so many people spending so much time driving for such a long period of time, it is likely for some ailments to come as a result. One of the main issues associated with driving is back pain. We look into some specific aspects of driving that may cause or intensify back pain.

Bad Posture

The leading cause of back pain is bad posture while driving. Many people recline their seats all the way back and push the actual seat far from the wheel. This causes the driver to have to sit up away from the back cushion and stretch their legs to reach the pedals. The result of this position is an irregular back arch that is actually the opposite of the natural back arch.

There are also individuals who have the opposite issue — sitting too far up or close to the wheel. Not only does this position put you at risk of suffering serious injuries if the airbag was to deploy, it can also put stress on your spine. Any position that does not support the natural arch of your spine can be detrimental to spine health.

Erratic Driving

One may think that the most they need to worry about when driving erratically is getting a ticket. What they should really be considered about is how their bad driving habits affect their back. Your spine experiences various forces and vibrations when driving a car contrary to that of sitting in an office chair. Your body tends to sway side-to-side and back and forth while driving. When your spine vibrates it pushes the disks between your vertebrae, which can ultimately damage them. The constant swaying at high speeds can also contort the spine into unnatural positions which can damage the spine.

Long Commutes

Long commutes can be detrimental in more ways than one. You are forced to remain by the wheel of your vehicle for long periods with little to no mobility. When commuting on interstates you rarely have the ability to adjust your position, as there are no stop lights or interruptions in traffic that permit it. Being restricted to one position for an elongated period of time can leave your back aching afterward. Try stretching while driving to allow your spine to return back to its natural position for at least momentary relief.

Your driving habits may be further intensifying your already existing back pain or can be the driving force behind future spine ailments. If the pain has become unbearable, it is time you speak with a spine specialist. Marc Cohen specializes in minimally invasive procedures and has experience working with individuals of the New Jersey area to seek resolution to their chronic back pain. Contact the Spine Institute at one of our many locations to