Don't take for granted the number of minutes you spend commuting on a weekly basis. The minutes add up quick and very few cars are equipped to support or even encourage a neutral sitting position for the spine. Many people can recall the feeling of being stiff and sore from a road trip. This feeling is an outcry from muscles which have accumulated tension from lack of movement during the drive. Your intervertebral discs have absorbed fluid during this time, further limiting your range of motion. We often take the rest stop exit to relieve our bladders, but rarely to give our muscles and spine the attention they deserve. Driving truly is a rigorous undertaking for the back; at Espinosa Family Chiropractic we encourage you to help out in any way you can by using posture.
Sitting up straight is the best way to begin: with your butt back in the seat and your head balanced above your spine, the rest of the body will follow suit. Do you ever find yourself leaning on the center console? Now is the time to stop, as this encourages a muscular imbalance that will compound over the long drive. Holding the steering wheel at 9 and 3 is good, but are your shoulders relaxed? It might be appropriate to adjust the height of your seat or steering wheel (if possible). Finally, car seats are not conducive to supporting the lordotic curve. Use a small pillow or rolled up jacket to give your back a boost and see how it immediately makes you feel better.
At our office in Sacramento, we are keen on showing people how the little things add up. Just as poor posture can defeat your well-being, so can proper posture change the way you feel at the end of a long drive for the better. For a whole range of holistic lifestyle adjustments and counseling, call our office in Sacramento at (916) 457-8825.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.