Driving positions & stuff

One of the inevitable blog topics for a chiropractor has to be driving positions. Well, I’ve had a think about it and I’m doing mine, BUT there’s more.

Most info pages on this have some sanctimonious stuff about not sitting too close and making sure you stop and have a 15 minute walk every hour on your journey! No one is going to do that! So let’s be realistic. I’ll put my advice in point form. I should add that this advice is “real world tested” on literally hundreds and hundreds of patients over more than 25 years in practice, it works. For the more usual “knees bent – Hands at 10 to 2” etc stuff there are LOTS of web images and pages to consult.

• Do get out and have a stretch and short walk, 5 minutes will do, every 75 to 90 minutes.On a 4 hour journey that will end up adding a huge 10 minutes to your journey time…Really, no big deal!

• Change the rake angle of your seat by just a tiny bit every 20 minutes or so. It doesn’t need to be much and you do have a degree of latitude either side of an ideal driving position (it helps the muscles not to fatigue from being stuck in exactly one place. Also ensure that your rear view mirror is set for you sitting upright, not slid down, in your seat.

• Do not drive with your wallet (or any thick bundle) in your back pocket. It’s like having a heel lift in your shoe. It can throw off your sitting posture as well as trigger muscle spasm in your buttock

• Be careful too, how you sit in or get in to your car seat if it has very high side bolsters. If you sit sideways in your car, chatting for example, these can cut in to the circulation in your thigh.

• Stay well hydrated. Have a bottle of water with you in the car. This will help you stay alert and refreshed. Note:- Water. NOT coke or Redcow (other “energy” drinks are available)– you want hydration not sugar highs and lows!

• With the increase in the prevalence of central armrests in cars, there is a great tendency for people to drive leaning on their left arm. This can markedly affect your spinal balance and loading on the lower discs of your spine. Next time you’re in traffic, watch how many drivers, in the cars in front, lean to the left with their heads not centred on their seat/ headrest – it’s amazing.

• If you feel tired, stop somewhere safe and have forty winks ( lock your car). You’d rather get there safe than not at all, right? Set the alarm on your mobile if you have to.

• Strictly speaking this is not driving advice more life advice. Make sure you don’t get wound up in your car. Getting tense because you’re five minutes late will NOT help you. You’re more likely have an accident and the stress levels being high will cause you to lower your immune function and be more likely get ill. Relax, getting angry at the other jerk in the car that cut you up or honked at you will not help you and he (or she) really won’t care. Its like taking the poison and expecting the other person to die!

While we’re on the subject of cars, DO be careful how you clean them. I’ve seen loads of people over the years strain themselves by overeaching to clean the roof or twisting while bending to clean the wheels etc. It is a task you do have to be cautious with. Safest way? Get someone else to do it for you 🙂

Till next time

Dr NeilFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail