How do you sit in the car with lower back pain?

How can I sit comfortably in a car if I have low back pain? My boyfriend and I are in the middle of a road trip. I have been driving the majority of the time, and all this sitting is really painful.

Answer
Ouch! Back pain is not fun to deal with when you’re driving. If you are experiencing lower back pain from sitting in the car for long periods of time, the following tips may help alleviate some of it.
  • Try to make yourself comfortable: Make sure your pockets are empty and you are not sitting on your phone, which can throw out the alignment in your spine. Use a car seat pillow to provide more padding and comfort.
  • Keep your distance: Since you are driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests sitting roughly 10 inches away from the steering wheel. This is not only safer (an optimal distance away from the airbag), but it should also be more comfortable for you.
  • Remember to take a break from driving: For every two hours of driving, it is recommended to take at least a 15-minute break to stretch and walk around. Consider planning stops during your road trip to rest and move.
  • Don’t just sit still: While you are driving, try to move and shift your position every 15 to 20 minutes to keep the blood flowing so your muscles will not become stiff. Even something simple like pumping your ankles can stretch your hamstring muscles while you are sitting.
  • Apply cold or heat therapy: Apply a cold or hot compress for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, let your skin recover for a few hours, then repeat. If you are driving, apply the cold or heat packs during your breaks from driving.
Hopefully, this helps!
For peace of mind and a more enjoyable road trip, consider getting a roadside assistance membership through Jerry. Along with traditional benefits, you get Uber-like tracking for the status of your service and the ability to contact your service provider directly for as low as $4.16 a month.
Phoebe Mah
Answered on Nov 12, 2021
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