Imagine you have a daily commute to work that is 30 minutes each way. That’s one hour a day, 5 hours per week, 20 hours month, and 240 hours per year! That is a considerable amount of time spent sitting, and if one’s sitting position is slouched forward, this is can be a cause of a myriad set of postural related aches and pains down the road. Sciatica, low back pain, shoulder pain, tension headaches are often associated with poor posture leading to mechanical changes in the body over time and resulting in pain and dysfunction.
Try these postural fixes for your car ride:
Neck – Align your earlobes right over the bony prominence (acromion) on top of your shoulder. Try to place your head against the headrest
Shoulders - Keep the shoulders from rounding forward. They too, should be placed against the chair back. Think about ever so slightly retracting the shoulder blades together to achieve a neutral upper back posture. This may require that steering wheel be adjusted to be closer to the seat.
Arms - With the hands resting on the steering wheel, allow a slight bend in the elbows.
Back – The spine and lower back should retain some ‘S’ curvature similar to the kind of spine curvature when standing upright. If the lower spine curvature has rounded into a ‘C’ shape, adjustments should be made like adding a lumbar support and as always – sit up tall.
For all the time spent sitting in the car, it’s worth making a healthy habit of good siting postural to avoid these postural related aches and pains. Plus, good posture makes you look good!
If you are wanting an interactive evaluation of how you are sitting in the car, come on in! We'll be happy to adjust your seating to ensure pain-free driving and activity.
Alex Glades PT, DPT