How to look after your back on your daily commute
Post Date
23rd April 2014
How to look after your back on your daily commute

Almost two in three working Australians travel to their workplace by private car, according to analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data by social research company McCrindle. According to census data, those car trips are often long ones, with the average worker in Sydney and Melbourne spending over an hour a day in their car on their daily commute. Long periods of time spent cooped up in your car can be frustrating and stressful – but can also be hazardous for your chiropractic health! Here’s how to avoid stiffness and pain on your daily work trip. 

  • Slide the seatforward so that you can operate the pedals comfortably with just your feet. You shouldn’t be so far from the pedals that you have to move your whole leg to reach them, or so close that it’s difficult to lift your foot when you need to.

  • Tilt the seat so that the pressure on your bottom and the backs of your thighs is evenly spread – you shouldn’t feel any pressure points. 

  • Adjust the angle of the seatback so that you can comfortably reach the steering wheel, with your shoulders positioned well behind the line of your hips.

  • Check your lumbar support A lot of modern cars have adjustable seat backs which you can tweak so that you feel comfortably supported in the curve of your spine. If your car doesn’t come equipped with lumbar support, use a small cushion or a rolled up towel the width of your forearm positioned in the small of your back. If your back feels particularly sore after a long trip, a heat pack such as Nurofen Back Pain Heat Packs can offer relief. If the pain is more intense, try a topical anti-inflammatory such as Nurofen Gel applied directly to the source of your pain, or a soothing heat pack like Nurofen Back Pain Heat Patches.

  • Position the steering wheel so that it rotates with just an up and down motion from your arms. If the wheel is at a tilt, your arms will have to push forward as well as up and down and that can stress the muscles across your chest.

  • Don’t slouch or hunch your shoulders over the steering wheel. It’s easy to do when you’re bored or frustrated during a drive, but it will strain your back and neck muscles. One way of keeping this in check is to adjust your rear-view mirrors while sitting upright. If you slouch, you won’t have full range of vision.

  • Relax Tune into your body and you may find that you are tense right across your neck and shoulders. Every now and then, ease your grip on the wheel, bring your shoulders to your ears and then release, and stretch your neck gently from side to side. 

LIVE WELL RECOMMENDS

Nurofen Gel
Nurofen Gel is gently rubbed into the skin for the temporary relief of pain and inflammation associated with acute soft tissue injuries including sprains, strains and sports injuries. Always read the label. Use only as directed. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.

Nurofen Back Pain Heat Patches
Nurofen Back Pain Heat Packs contain natural minerals that heat up when exposed to the air to target pain. The heat packs are odourless and can be worn under clothes without discomfort. They are held in place with a low irritancy adhesive. Always read the label. Use only as directed. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.