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Could your driving posture be causing pain?

Could your driving posture be causing pain?

With the number of hours we spend in our cars commuting to and from Parramatta it could be possible that your driving posture is causing your symptoms. Common symptoms experienced by drivers include neck, shoulder, lower back and foot pain.

  • Before you get into the car, empty your pockets – especially your back pockets, remove your jacket. Remove your wallets, phone and keys and ensure your clothing is not restrictive.
  • Adjust the seat so that you’re not having to reach too far forward on the steering wheel
  • Ensure you can visually see the road. If not, move the seat forward you should have a slight bend in your knee and be able to easily control the foot pedals
  • Fix the tilt on your seat – you want to keep your spine upright by correcting the backrest position. Using small car pillows is a great way of correcting your spine position.
  • Steering wheel position: Your arm and wrist should be comfortably on the top of the wheel without reaching forward. Keep both hands on the wheel to stop any twisting or side bending in sitting.
  • Mirrors: Adjust your mirrors last to prevent any twist of the spine, neck protraction or leaning forward with the body.
  • Foot placement: common areas of pain can be your heel or the ball of the foot. If you rest your foot on the floor this could lead to heel pain. Ensure that your foot is straight and use shoes that have cushioning around the heel. If pain is persisting once you stop driving this could indicate there is another underlying issue that may need to be treated. Pain in the ball of your foot is generally due to the contact point of the pedal, and is can be influenced by shoe choice. Ensure to wear comfortable shoes or implement gel padding if necessary to the pressure through the foot.

Even once you have established a good sitting position it is important to ensure you take regular breaks. For long distance drives take a minimum of 10-15 min breaks every 2 hours. When you stop ensure to walk and perform stretches. When you return to driving, recheck and adjust your sitting posture to alleviate your current symptoms.

If pain still persists, seek treatment from your Physiotherapist.