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People who drive for a living, especially those who drive long hours or distances, face some unique risks. The lack of ability to move about can lead to serious health conditions, including blood clots. It can also lead to persistent back pain.
As you can imagine, chronic back pain isn’t something that is going to make driving easy. In fact, back pain can become debilitating quickly. There are certain things that you can do to try to prevent back pain from occurring.
When you sit to drive, your back isn’t curved in a natural manner. This puts strain on the vertebrae of the spine. You also have to factor in the constant vibration and motion of the vehicle since this can exacerbate the effects of sitting so long. Your neck and cervical spine area also have added strain from the position you are placed in when you drive.
Sitting in as natural of a position as possible is necessary. You can accomplish this by using a lumbar support, placing your seat at a distance where you can comfortably reach the pedals and steering wheel, and positioning yourself so that as much of your thighs are on the seat as possible. You also need to make sure that your head and neck have proper support.
Due to the nature of your job, you probably can’t stop every 30 minutes to move about. Still, it is important that you stop when you can and get out to move around. If you are driving a bus, you might be able to just walk up and down the length of the bus when you have an opportunity to pull over for a few minutes.
Before you get into the driver’s seat and at the end of your shift, take the time to stretch your back. This can help to reduce some of the tension in your muscles that could come with having to sit for an entire work shift.
If your back pain is getting progressively worse or if it is causing you prolonged pain, you might need to seek medical care. If the injury is work-related, workers’ compensation coverage might help in these cases. Workers’ compensation can get your medical care paid for and it might help you to get partial wage replacement if you have to take time off while your back heals.