Is your car seat driving you up the wall?
When achey pains and niggles pop up, you often find yourself hunting for answers as to what could be causing the problem. One thing that is often missed, particularly with spinal pain, is the importance of your seating position while driving your car.
Driving is something that most people do every day, anywhere from 5 minutes to the local shops, to an hours commute to work. Our body loves to be kept moving, and the longer it’s left in once position, the stiffer things become. If you are poorly set up in the car, this may speed the rate at which those areas tighten up, predisposing you to picking up injuries with simple day to day tasks.
So what to look for? Here are a couple of simple tips to consider in relation to your position while sitting in your car.
- Adjust your wheel position
Reaching for the wheel or sitting to close, can both alter your sitting posture in the car. Have your hands just below shoulder height, with a small bend in your elbows as you place your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock on the wheel. Your shoulder blades should sit comfortably against the backrest of the seat.
- Adjust your reach to the pedals
Sitting too close to the pedals can cause your hips and knees to be too flexed, while reaching for them can force you to strain to get there. Similar to the arms, position your legs so they rest in a slightly flexed position, such that your knees and hips are kept roughly level.
- Adjust the seat angle
Once again, too far in either direction can create discomfort. Too much recline will encourage your upper back and neck to poke forwards. Sitting too upright will feel rigid and restrictive. Allow a small recline enough that you can keep your shoulder blades against the chair with your bottom in the back of the seat.
- Lumbar support
Different backs will need different degrees of support above the pelvis. Play around with the feeling of a rolled up towel in the small of your back to avoid slumping, and giving your back extra support while sitting.
Car Assessments are undertaken at both our Salisbury and Mile End clinics. Mention this to reception when making a booking.
Blog prepared by Matt Nowosilskyj (Physiotherapist)