Back pain when driving can be upsetting and frustrating. These are some things you can do to alleviate the pain and prevent it from happening.
A study published in the Spine Journal may confirm that prolonged or excessive driving can cause permanent damage to the intervertebral discs of the spine. The study focused on how vibration (at a frequency of 5 HZ) affected the integrity of the annulus fibrosis (the part of the disc prone to tearing). The results determined that 80% of the test subjects showed some signs of herniation.
The reason why vibration at a frequency of 5 Hz is so significant is that our cars and trucks vibrate at this same frequency when we drive. Coupled with previous studies that have shown decreases in muscle response due to vibration and an increase in degenerative changes from sitting too long, this presents a very serious problem for people who drive a lot.
5 ways to relieve and prevent back pain when driving
Set the backrest to a slight recline and (if your car has it) use the seat heat
Use a lumbar support
Keep your knees as extended as possible
Take breaks from driving and stretch
Work out your core muscles 2-3 times per week
To check out some of our FREE exercise programs for your back and neck, visit the EXERCISE PAGE of our website.
If you continue to experience persistent back pain, pain running down the legs, numbness or tingling in the legs or feet or a combination of these symptoms, you may have a herniated disc. In this case, chiropractic care may be necessary to treat the herniated disc and relieve your symptoms. In addition, your chiropractor would be able to order an MRI or CT scan of your spine to determine if you have a herniated disc and the extent of the damage.
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Wishing you good health,
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