Backpain Relief for Drivers

Road trips are fun and interesting! However road trips in Uganda can be associated with long travels that may cause back pain to not only drivers but also the passengers. Here are some of the useful tips to help you alleviate back pain that you may get during your journey.

Know how to identify a good seat

A good seat may not immediately seem all that comfortable, It will have a light and very rigid core structure, and that structure should be shaped to promote the best possible posture of the human vertebrae.”

You don’t want a soft, squishy seat that’s suspended with springs as the driver will slump down into it; rather, one that will maintain its shape even after hours and hours of driving.

You don’t want a soft, squishy seat that’s suspended with springs, as the driver will slump down into it.

A comfortable seat will position the hips higher than the knees, support the shoulder blades and offer a wide range of adjustment

A comfortable seat will position the hips higher than the knees, support the shoulder blades and offer a wide range of adjustment.

Driving it will reveal whether you’re truly comfortable. You should be able to reach the steering wheel yet still have a bend in your elbows, looking at the mirrors should just be a simple eye movement rather than a head movement and it should be easy to depress all the pedals, especially the clutch, without lifting yourself from the seat.

 Drivers travelling long distances should take a break every couple of hours. A driver should break up their journey and do stretches to keep themselves moving.

Simple but effective exercises when in the car and stuck in traffic include buttock clenches, side bends and seat braces – “pushing your hands into the steering wheel and back into the seat” – and shoulder shrugs, with a five second hold, as well as shoulder circles.

Steer clear of tight clothing and shoes with high heels. You wouldn’t wear them when gardening so why wear them in the car?

Consider your dressing

It’s also a good idea to steer clear of tight clothing and shoes with high heels. You wouldn’t wear them when gardening, as you need freedom of movement, so why wear them in the car?  keeping a practical pair of flat shoes in the car if you regularly wear high-heels works out well especially ladies.

Try to follow the general advice for comfort within the realms of possibility presented by your own car seat.

  1. Push your bottom as near as possible to the backrest. The distance from the seat to the pedals is adjusted so that your knee is slightly bent when the pedals are fully depressed.
  2. Rest your shoulders as closely as possible to the backrest. Set the backrest tilt so that the steering wheel is easy to reach with slightly bent elbows. The shoulder contact must be maintained when the steering wheel is turned.
  3. Set the seat height as high as possible. This ensures an unobstructed view to all sides and all displays on the instrument panel.
  4. Set the seat cushion tilt so that it is easy to fully depress the pedals. The thighs should rest gently on the seat cushion without exerting pressure on it. Check the backrest tilt before starting the engine.
  5. Adjust the extendable seat cushion so that the thighs rest on it to just above the knee. A rule of thumb is that there should be two to three fingers’ clearance between the seat edge and the hollow of the knee.
  6. The lumbar support has been adjusted when the lumbar part of the back is supported in its natural shape.
  7. The seat’s side bolsters should fit so snugly to the body that the upper body is supported comfortably at the side without being restricted.
  8. Adjust the upper edge of the headrest to the same height as the top of the head. The distance to the head should be approximately 2cm

Drivers should always try a car for size in the showroom, then take it for a test drive, before they buy it.

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