That means an average of 30 minutes each direction, sitting, often in traffic. And that spells bad news for your spine: the truth is, commuting and back pain go hand-in-hand. Traffic and driving cause mental anxiety which translates to muscular tension; add that to the fact that car seats are unsupportive and we generally assume poor posture in the car, and you have a perfect recipe for back pain. In order to mitigate the potential pain, you need to be proactive about the way you treat your spine while you drive. Here's a roadmap for doing just that:
The first thing is to find a comfortable, supportive position. Chances are your carseat is not going to help you much in this endeavor. Choose a position that is more than 90 degrees, but not so far that you need to strain your neck to see the road. You should be slightly reclined, but your head should be firmly back against the head rest. If you feel your lower back sinking backward into your seat, use a rolled up jacket or lumbar support cushion to maintain the proper curvature. At stoplights or in stop-and-go traffic, practice keeping your spine limber by stretching your neck and shoulders. By being proactive about your seated position and releasing tension, you will go a long way toward preventing spinal problems from accumulating. If you are still reeling from back pain caused and aggravated by your daily commute, make sure you schedule an appointment to come see us at our office in Milpitas.