Driving long distances is challenging and exhausting especially for car drivers and truck drivers who spend hours on the road every day.
One of the most common problems long-distance drivers experience is back pain. In the long run, back pain affects health and quality of life.
Back pain can be caused by various factors, such as poor posture, lack of lumbar support, vibration and fatigue. In this article, Your Back Pain Relief take a look at why car drivers and truck drivers need back support when driving long distances. We also explore what they can do to prevent and relieve back pain.
Why Is Back Support Important For Drivers?
Good quality back support is essential for drivers because it helps them maintain a proper posture and alignment of the spine while sitting in the driver’s seat. The spine has a natural curve that needs to be supported by the seat and the cushion.
When a seat is too hard, soft or flat, it can cause the spine to lose its curve and place strain often on the lower back. This leads to muscle tension, disc pressure, nerve compression and inflammation.
Back support can also help drivers cope with any vibration and shock they may experience from the road surface and the vehicle’s movement. In a worst-case scenario, vibration causes trauma to the spinal structures, such as the discs, ligaments, and joints. A back support helps absorb some of the vibrations and contributes to reducing harmful effects on the spine.
Furthermore, back support can help drivers reduce the fatigue that contributes to back pain. Stress causes the muscles to tighten up and spasm. Eventually, this leads to impaired blood circulation,
Fatigue can cause long-distance drivers to slump down or lean forward affecting posture which increases the strain on their spine. The right back support can help drivers relax their muscles and keep their posture upright and better balanced.
This does not only apply to professional drivers such as truckers. Many other professional groups sit down for a long time. Pilots, bus drivers and train drivers also risk back pain if they sit down for a long time without proper back support.
What Are The Best Tips For Drivers To Improve Back Support?
There are several things that drivers can do to improve your back support and prevent or relieve back pain when driving long distances. The best tips include:
Renew the Seats In Your Vehicle
Old seats lose their shape and firmness over time. This can compromise their ability to support the spine. Drivers should replace their seats with newer ones that have adequate padding, lumbar support and adjustability. Many drivers end up taking time off work with back problems simply because the seats in their trucks or cars are in bad condition. It is something that long-distance drivers overlook.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
You should also try to stay a healthy weight. When you drive for a living, or drive a lot, finding the time to exercise is challenging. The best way to combat back pain and restore circulation is to walk. Why not carry a pair of good-quality walking shoes with you? Then all you have to do is to get out of your vehicle and go for a walk.
Invest in Lumbar Supports
Lumbar supports are specially designed to fit the curve of the lower back and provide extra support for the spine. They are made of various materials, such as memory foam, gel and even air cells. The role of lumbar supports is to support the shape of the back while offering comfort and pressure relief.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Comfortable clothes help as well. Ideally, you should not wear tight-fitting clothes when driving long distances. This does not only interfere with posture and movement when driving. Tight clothing also reduces lymphatic drainage. You risk storing excess water in your tissues leading to pain and discomfort.
Adjust Your Seat Position and Angle
Drivers should adjust their seat position and angle to ensure that they have legroom so that their legs don’t put pressure on their pelvis. The seat should be at a comfortable angle. A seat that is too high or too low increases pressure and does not support good body alignment.
Take Frequent Breaks and Stretch
Drivers should take frequent breaks to get out of their seats and stretch their muscles. Stretching helps to loosen up the tight muscles, improve blood flow and increase oxygen to all parts of the body. That does not mean you have to stop every hour. However, it is important to stop on a regular basis to stretch and move your body. As always, you should make sure that you don’t exceed the recommended driving or traveling time.
Don’t Forget About Hydration
Staying hydrated and eating healthy antioxidant-rich snacks help. Water lubricates the joints and discs in the spine and prevents dehydration that is associated with muscle cramps. Healthy snacks rich in antioxidants provide energy and boost the immune system which in turn reduces inflammation in the body.
Back support is vital for car drivers and truck drivers who drive long distances. It helps them maintain a proper posture and alignment of the spine. When you have a back support, you cope with vibration and shock from the road surface and the vehicle’s movement. It is easy to underestimate how much even minor vibration can affect your comfort.
Vehicle maintenance is also important. Make sure that you update your suspension and keep it well-maintained. Badly maintained suspension is a common risk factor when it comes to driving long distances.
Your tires should be at the right pressure and you should make sure they are not too worn as this can cause an uncomfortable journey. Remember to take frequent breaks for stretching and moving your joints.
Most long-distance drivers invest in additional back support to make their journeys more comfortable. Never underestimate the health benefits of back support when you drive or do another job that requires you to sit down for extended periods.