Back pain or leg pain while driving your car doesn’t always mean “go to the doctor”. It could just be your sitting or driving posture is incorrect, or you’ve been driving for more than an hour.
You’ve probably already thought, “How do I sell my used, second hand car online?” However, before you go on making hasty decisions, think about the causes and prevention of driving with back pain or leg cramps.
Many people slouch or keep their seat too far back, forcing them to reach for the steering wheel, which is not ideal for posture and K53 Road Traffic Rules of the road.
Accelerations, side-to-side swaying and vibrations has been reported as one of the most common causes of neck, lower back and leg pain.
However, although the cause might be just another run-of-the-mill, sitting in a car seat with physical discomfort is not the same as sitting in a chair with discomfort. There are road safety risks attached to driving with pain, as it can distract you from your much needed driving thoughts:
- Road traffic collisions
- Running over a pedestrian
- Getting stuck in a dodgy neighbourhood, unable to bare the pain of driving
- Road traffic accidents with road obstacles
CarZar answers all your concerns about back pain and leg cramps related to driving.
Why does driving cause lower back pain?
- Lowered car seats, due to a low roofline, causes the legs to straighten and in return, straining the hamstrings and pelvic attachment.
- Long road trips can place strain on the body’s vertebrae and discs.
- The spine is subjected to considerable vibration and jolting.
- Tipped back car seats places strain on the neck, due to flexing in order to look straight.
Make your commute comfortable with these pain-preventing tips
Easing low back pain while behind the wheel.
- Seat – your seat should support your thighs.
- Steering wheel – adjust to reach with bent arms.
- Pedals – do not sit too far from the pedals, as feet should reach the pedals comfortably.
- Lumbar support – adjust to slightly press on the lower back, at belt height.
- Automatic cars – places less strain on your back due to zero clutch use.
- Long trips – make a few pit-stops during your journey, to get out and move around. But, avoid bending and stretching, as your back and legs may be susceptible to injury.
Positioning your seat correctly.
Nobody is the same height or side. It’s therefore impossible to tell which position is your car seat should be in. However, you can test out your car seat position with a few guidance:
Firstly, your seat affects your steering wheel position:
- Put your hand palms together.
- Bend your elbows and let your wrists touch your chest.
- Point your fingers toward the steering wheel.
- If your fingers are not central to the steering wheel, then the steering wheel is offset.
Secondly, leg positioning affects body posture:
- Place both hands on the steering wheel.
- Look at your legs through your arms.
- Do you see equal amounts of each leg?
- If the right leg is obscured by the right arm, the shoulder girdle is rotated to the left of the pelvis.
What about my shoulder and neck pain?
- Loosen your steering wheel grip – grasping the car steering wheel too tightly can tense up your shoulders and neck.
- Take it easy – it helps if you feel relaxed while driving.
- Don’t be scared of the wheel – we said loosen your steering wheel grip, not sit far from it. Remember, your elbows should be slightly bent.
- Again, adjust your car seat – car seats should be able to support the body central to the steering wheel. If the steering wheel is offset from the centre of the car seat, the car driver will have to hold the wheel at an angle to the body, which causes stress on the shoulders and neck.
The best and easiest solution is, of course, flog your agonising used car and buy a car that guarantees comfort for your body’s height and size. That’s where CarZar comes in – we buy cars for cash, offering instant cash for cars in return when you sell secondhand car online! On www.carzar.co.za you can get a free online car valuation in just seconds and book an obligation-free inspection at your most convenient Car Buying Centre or preferred location.
100% free service. Guaranteed final offer. Instant payment.