The Foray Motor Group have written some of the best tips on how to prevent back pain when driving. It includes some of my own tips and others from Back on site, and Active Backs.
The main top tips include :
Tips for avoiding back pain while driving
- Make sure your car is road worthy
- Adjust your sitting position
- Utilise lumbar support
- Use heated seats
- Be careful getting in and out of the car
- Ice your back
- Take regular breaks
“If your car happens to have heated seats, it’s definitely a good idea to make good use of them in your quest to prevent back pain. Heat has the great benefit of relaxing tight joints and muscles, helping blood flow to the area applied to, and therefore relieving pain. So next time you are out on a long drive and perhaps are starting to feel a little uncomfortable, consider turning that seat on. Barbara McLullich from Back Pain Blog – the personal journey of a chronic back pain sufferer – offers this advice: “I am a true advocate of heat while travelling so if your car does not have heated seats then buy a heat pad to pop on your back. You can buy these from a chemist and most last up to eight hours. Also, have some heat pads ready to use after your journey.”
Be careful getting in and out of the car
Another important thing to consider is the simple fact of how you get in and out of the car as this can have ramifications for your back health. Explaining what to be aware of and how you can help yourself, Barbara from Back Pain Blog says: “Pay attention to how you get in and out of the car. Sit down facing the door and swing both legs into the car. Getting out is the reverse. If this is too uncomfortable to do, you can buy swivel cushions to help you turn around.”
If, like me, you suffer from any form of neck, cervical or shoulder pain you can understand how uncomfortable this can be. Everyone reacts differently to either a treatment or a product they try to alleviate the pain. For me personally heat wins every time.
I have a few different types of heat pads for this type of pain which I have written about before. Thermacare Heat Wraps are available from just about every chemist with only a slight variation on cost. They are clinically proven to be as effective as six ibuprofen tablets and it works for 8 hours.
I think the best cushions that you put in your microwave are the ones from Pain Relief. Cushions who have a great one to wrap around your neck that are called Horseshoe Neck Wheat Cushion . This is the horseshoe wheat bag, which sits well round the neck, not needing to be held in place. Holds the heat well as the body of the wearer recharges the cushion. Wonderful for whiplash pain, neck strain and trapped nerves. This wheat bag measures Approx. 10.5″ x 10.0″ on offer at the moment for £17.19
Sweet Dreams Neck, Shoulder and Upper Back Electric Heat Pad available from Amazon is the perfect fit and great to use at home, in bed or sitting in a chair. The one below is on Amazon at the moment for £33.95
What works for one does not work the same for another, but this simple graphic from Cleveland Clinic on Pinterest explains the difference between heat and ice for pain.
As I am sure many of you will have seen from previous posts, I am a real advocate of heat for pain. I have always said that travel is easier if I use a heat pad for a flight or train journey and have been lucky enough to have had heated seats in my car and my husband’s car.
Recently though we changed my car which did not have any heated seats in it so I researched on the best portable ones that plug into your cigarette lighter.
I decided I didn’t want the ones that have a back and cushion that you secure to the seat as I felt they would be a bit of a hassle to move over when my husband was driving. Instead I found one that was just the cushion and looked easy to set up.
As the weather changed I was getting a bit desperate for the cushion and only realised when I went online to my Amazon account that the one I had ordered was coming from China so it would take a bit longer to arrive.
It arrived last week and I just had to write a post on it as it’s the most amazing heat pad I have ever used. It’s light and portable so I can position it at my back and not as a cushion and does not need strapping in so it can be moved from one seat to another with ease. It has two heat temperatures with a remote in the middle of it but it gets so hot that I have only used the lowest temperature. It’s easy to just pull out of the cigarette point when I don’t want to use it and I can honestly say was worth every little penny it cost me.
It is so easy to move around that I would not hesitate to take it with me if I am in another car as I find car journey’s the most painful of all transport. The price is also extremely reasonable at only £12.89 including delivery.
It is advertised as a Comfortable Quick Warming Heated Car Seat Cushion Pad Auto 12V Warmer Pad Hot Cover Automobile Heating Mat for Cold Weather and Winter Driving, from a company called sweetlife