11:20 AM

How to Prevent and Correct Back Pain From Driving

Fatherly reports on back pain as a result from driving long periods of time, and features insight from James F. Wyss, MD, PT, physiatrist at HSS.

Dr. Wyss explained, “The back pain you experience from a long time spent in the car is due to the pressure on the discs in your back. These discs act as a shock absorber between the vertebrae.”

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to pre-emptively stretch to avoid back pain from long car rides. Dr. Wyss noted, “There is no one group of stretches you can do before you sit for a while that will ward off the problem.” A best practice is to regularly do exercises that strengthen the spine, which will help it better handle sitting pressures.

Sitting position in the car also matters. He said, “You can have more or less load on the discs in your back depending on how you sit. If you are leaning forward, you greatly increase pressure compared to leaning back and using the back rest.”

Making timed stops can help. He added, “The most helpful thing you can do for back pain is just walk around. You are taking body out of a flexed position by walking, which lessens the load on your discs.”

Dr. Wyss recommended a stretch to bring the spine into extension to relieve the feelings of tightness, like a shallow backbend.

Read the full article at Fatherly.com.