How you can relieve your back pain from driving

By Sherwin Nicholson | SN Health Resources

Back Pain and Driving

Why does my back hurt when I drive?

Why does driving cause my back to become sore?

Back pain while driving is one of the most common problems to affect everyone.  It doesn’t take long before back pain occurs while you drive.  Even long before you get into the seat.  What is the cause and what is going on?

Three possible scenarios.

1. Your back can be healthy and well protected.  However, the limitations and flaws of the vehicle and seat cause your normal, healthy back to become prone to injury.

2. Your back already has issues, but the vehicle and seat provide full support and protection but fail to support the issues of your back.

3. You have both.  Back problems and operate a vehicle with inadequate support causing your back to become worse with few solutions.

Falling within one of these three categories is easy.  It is also likely to have more than one at the same time.

Because there are many causes of lower back pain, it is tough to find a single method of treatment.  It is very easy to find many suggestions of how to drive with minimal pain.

In most cases, there is rarely a magic bullet where a simple adjustment to the vehicle or treatment of the spine will immediately help.  Rarely is long term relief found with such so-called quick fixes.

Here are some important suggestions to help alleviate back pain when driving.  These suggestions are not as well known but effective.

Back Pain Seat Adjustment

When seated, position yourself in your chair so that your thighs (and knees) are slightly elevated off of the edge of the seat while your knees are bent (purple arrow).

Elevating allows for and restores adequate blood flow back up to your buttocks/glutes (red arrow).  Without proper circulation to your muscles and nerves,  your legs will become tired and will lack support for your back while seated and standing.

This is a first step in strengthening your leg muscles to support your back.

There are two exercises you can practice daily to help with your drive.

(More beneficial exercises are available on the 10 Important Exercises Section.)

The First Exercise is the Standing Abdominal Exercise

By following it, it helps with the following:

  • It encourages you to maintain a safe posture
  • Maintains both neutral lumbar and pelvic tilt posture
  • Stretches and strengthens the hips
  • Provides strength to the abdominals

Click on the Image or HERE for full instructions

weak abdominals

The Second Exercise is the Standing Hip Shift Exercise

By following it, it helps with the following:

  • Encourages your gluteus maximus to contract
  • Strengthens your gluteus medius
  • Strengthens the deeper muscles of the spine and back
  • Strengthens the abdominals

Click on the Image or HERE for full instructions

standing hip shift

By working through the stiffness, tightness, and weak muscles that these exercises address, you will be on a path to further relieve your pain.

There are more ways to deal with lower back pain.  It is not merely a matter of driving comfortably.  It is a chronic issue where driving only exacerbates an already condition.  Here are some more suggestions for lower back pain:

10 Important Exercises for Back and Hip Pain

ORDER All of the Exercises