Car Driving and Lumbar Disc Pain

discseel for back pain from driving and car injuries

Car Driving and Lumbar Disc Pain

Sitting in a car for long drives can contribute to lumbar disc herniations and degenerative disc disease due to the biomechanical stress placed on the low back during prolonged sitting periods and repetitive driving movements. Understanding these biomechanical reasons is crucial for taking steps to protect your low back while driving. By implementing certain measures and adopting healthy habits, you can help reduce the risk of lumbar disc problems and promote a healthier spine during long drives.

The Relationship Between Driving and Lumbar Disc Problems

One of the main biomechanical reasons why sitting in a car for extended periods can lead to lumbar disc problems is the static posture maintained during driving. Sitting for prolonged durations causes increased pressure on the lumbar discs, which can lead to disc degeneration and potential herniation over time. The discs’ lack of movement and constant compression can disrupt their hydration and nutrient supply, compromising their health and resilience.

Another contributing factor is the repetitive motion of the lower limbs during driving. The continuous pressing of the pedals and limited movement of the feet and legs can lead to muscle imbalances and affect the stability of the low back. Over time, this can result in increased stress on the lumbar discs and surrounding structures.

How to Alleviate Low Back Pain

To help your low back while driving, here are ten things you can do:

  1. Optimize your seating position: Adjust the seat position to ensure proper alignment of your spine. Sit with your back against the seat, hips and knees bent at approximately 90 degrees, and feet comfortably reaching the pedals.
  2. Use lumbar support: Utilize a lumbar support cushion or roll to maintain the natural curve of your low back. This helps reduce the strain on the lumbar discs and promotes better spinal alignment.
  3. Take regular breaks: Plan for frequent rest stops during long drives to give your back a chance to stretch and relieve pressure. Get out of the car, walk around, and perform gentle stretching exercises for your back and legs.
  4. Engage in back exercises: Perform simple back exercises while sitting at a rest stop or during breaks. Examples include seated spinal twists, pelvic tilts, and gentle forward bends to promote flexibility and alleviate tension.
  5. Use cruise control: Whenever feasible, utilize cruise control to reduce the repetitive motion of your lower limbs. This allows your feet and legs to rest and minimizes the stress on the low back.
  6. Maintain good posture: Avoid slouching or leaning excessively while driving. Sit upright, keeping your shoulders relaxed, and adjust the rearview and side mirrors to encourage an ergonomic posture.
  7. Adjust steering wheel position: Position the steering wheel at a comfortable distance and height to avoid excessive reaching and straining of the arms and shoulders. This helps maintain a relaxed posture and reduces stress on the low back.
  8. Use seat heating and cooling: Take advantage of built-in seat heating or cooling features if available. Heat can help relax tense muscles, while cooling can alleviate inflammation and provide pain relief.
  9. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water during your drive to keep your discs hydrated and maintain the elasticity of the spinal tissues. Proper hydration promotes disc health and can reduce the risk of disc-related problems.
  10. 10.Practice stress reduction techniques: Long drives can be mentally and physically taxing. Engage in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or listening to calming music to alleviate stress and tension in your low back.

Discseel for Lumbar Back Problems

By implementing these strategies, you can help reduce the biomechanical stress on your low back while driving and minimize the risk of lumbar disc problems. Exciting new nonsurgical technology called Discseel is now available to seal painful disc cracks, but taking proactive steps to support your spine during long drives will contribute to a more comfortable and enjoyable travel experience while prioritizing the health of your low back.

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I’m Boris Terebuh MD, Ohio’s first and most experienced Discseel® provider. I am also the Founder & Medical Director of the Regenerative Spine & Joint Center