How to Prevent Back Problems When Driving Long Distances
Do you have to drive long distances, as part of your work, or to visit friends and relatives? As the miles clock up, it can become less and less comfortable. Long distance driving isn’t just a draining experience, it can also create back problems for adults and children alike. It’s essential therefore to make the car as comfortable as possible for both the driver and passengers.
Why Sitting in a Car is Different to Sitting in a Chair
Sitting in a chair at home allows you to adopt a good, upright posture that avoids putting strain on your spine. You may think it’s the same when you’re driving, but think again. When driving, your body is being subjected to constant vibrations, and moved into unnatural positions. Scientific studies show that this creates high spinal loadings in the lower back. It’s not only the driver, passengers can be affected as well, especially younger passengers.
The Effects of Driving Vibrations on Tte Spine
The more miles that you drive, the more your spine is being buffeted by vibrations. That’s why postural discomfort is commonly felt by people who drive long distances. It doesn’t take much for the discomfort to turn into pain, a sign that spinal damage is occurring. A study in the USA and Sweden showed that 50% of drivers experienced back pain, and that long-term exposure to driving vibrations was one of the most common contributing factors in neck and back problems.
Back pain is a debilitating condition that can have a major impact on your life, but sometimes its impossible to avoid having to drive long distances. If you know you’re going to be driving a long distance, then proper preparation can make all the difference. Here are three things that can significantly reduce the risk of back pain:
Hydration and driving breaks
Perfect Seat Positioning
Modern car seats are easily adjustable, but how often do you do it? You should adjust the positioning of your seat before every long journey. Vibrations, and the act of climbing in and out of your seat, can change the position of the seat over time. Make sure that you have adequate leg room , and that the back rest and head support are in the right position. If your car seat doesn’t feel completely comfortable when you first climb into it, then it will become really uncomfortable during a long journey.
When driving long distances, your muscles can become cramped and painful. Dehydration can add to this problem, so make sure that you drink plenty of water before you start your journey. Take a drink with you as well. Make sure that you stop regularly, once an hour is ideal. This gives you a chance to stretch your legs, and take more liquids on board. It can also help to stave off tiredness, and increase concentration levels.
Make Your Seat More Comfortable with Cushions and Accessories
Your car seat wasn’t designed with long distances in mind, but that doesn’t mean it has to remain that way. There’s a wide range of back and lumbar supports and padded cushions that are made specifically for car seats. These padded cushions can have a dramatic impact on your driving comfort. They’re ergonomically designed in conjunction with back experts, and can make a 200 mile journey just as comfortable as one of 20 miles.
Children’s Car Seats for Long Distance Journeys
Sometimes you have no choice but to take your young child on a long journey. They can become uncomfortable much quicker than adults, and don’t know how to adjust their posture to regain comfort. That’s why its important to ensure that your child seats are suitable for long distance travel. Seats such as the Maxi Cosi car seat have been designed with both comfort and safety in mind, and will protect your child from the effects of vibration. You’ll both arrive at your destination in perfect shape.