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5 Tips for Driving When You Have Back Problems

Back pain comes in many shapes and sizes, but a common trait is that it worsens when sitting. Staying in a seated position can make you increasingly uncomfortable whether your back pain is caused by sciatica, spinal stenosis, problems with your discs, or something else entirely.

Long story short, it’s pretty common to have back pain that worsens with sitting. And that can make driving a challenge, ruining your summer road trip plans. Fortunately, here at Prime Regenerative and Pain Management in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Dev Sen, MD, specializes in treating low back pain. He can help you find the relief you need to drive comfortably.

But to help ease your discomfort on the way to our office, here are a few tips for driving that can help with back pain. 

Check your alignment

Taking an extra minute when you first sit down can make a big difference. Before you put the car in “drive,” make any adjustments that help you feel more comfortable. That might mean adjusting the steering wheel height, emptying your back pockets, or modifying the seat’s lumbar support (for cars that offer that option). 

With a quick scan, you can identify things that could make your back pain worse after some time on the road. Taking steps to address those potential issues now can help you enjoy a more comfortable trip. 

Adjust your seat

Move your seat as close to the steering wheel as feels comfortable. This helps you avoid straining as you reach the pedals, and it can also prevent slouching forward over the steering wheel. 

Use cruise control

When your feet are flat on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle, your back gets extra support. Having your legs outstretched to control your speed puts extra strain on your back. Over time, that can take a toll.

To ease that potential issue, use cruise control as much as possible. This allows you to rest your feet on the floor more frequently, giving your back some extra support as you drive. 

Take breaks

If you feel your back pain building, look for the closest pit stop. Even a few minutes of walking around and stretching can give your spine the release it needs. 

Make a plan beforehand

If you’re planning a longer drive, it can be helpful to map out predetermined rest spots. Finding points of interest, gas stations, and coffee shops along the way helps to break up your trip. And getting out to move around more than usual can make a huge difference for your back pain. 

Ultimately, these tips can help to avoid the worst of your back pain, but you shouldn’t have to drive in discomfort. For dedicated low back pain treatment, call Prime Regenerative & Pain Management, or book an appointment online today. 

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