Proper driving biomechanics to decrease pain!
Long drives are one of many common causes of low back pain. Unfortunately, we are never really thinking about our positioning while driving. Poor posture for long periods of time causes an increase in stress in different areas of our bodies, including the low back and neck.
Posture also affects your reaction time when driving! Proper posture allows for less stress on your musculature, which improves reaction time, making it safer for both you as the driver and everyone around you!
Let’s talk about some simple ways to ease the stress on your body during long car rides!
Make sure your bottom is as far back in your seat as possible
Make sure your low back is resting up against the backrest
If you are stretching to reach for the peddle, adjust the seat forward more.
Most importantly- make sure that your hips and knees remain within the same height. Do not allow your knees to come above your hips, this will increase psoas tension
Use the Lumbar support, if your car doesn't have one use link below to order one
Adjust height of steering wheel so you're not reaching and so arms can relax to 120°
Place seat belt over pelvis not stomach
Adjust the headrest
Be sure to take breaks during a long drive, allowing your legs and the rest of your body to stretch and relax
Let me break it down for you. Having your knees above your hips for long periods of time decreases blood-flow to the area, and causes an increase in tension in your hip flexor musculature. Your hip flexors are anterior spine stabilizers. These muscles attach to the front of the ilium as well as parts of the lumbar spine. If these muscles experience an increase in tension, they put unwanted forces on the spine, causing low back pain.
These are general suggestions, there are many more that can be taken while focusing on driving postures but give them a try!
We also created a video on our TikTok to help. Check it out!