Driving can be a very involved activity in our neck, back, and spine. It may not feel like it, but we are using various parts of our body when we’re driving. It’s often felt after driving for a few hours continuously on a road trip, only after you stop for gas or a snack you begin to realize how stuff your joints are. In this post, we’ll be focusing on the main components of what makes driving for extended periods of time potentially harmful to our neck, back, and spine.
We’re Not Made to Sit for Extended Periods of Time
As stated above, we’re not really meant to be seated and operating a vehicle for several hours on end. Between gripping the steering wheel, to pressing the gas and brakes, to sometimes even shifting if we have a manual transmission car. All of this nuanced activity ends up causing tension and stress to develop across our body.
We’re Typically Tenser When Driving
As we’ve all experienced when we’re driving on a congested highway, or in stop-and-go traffic; we’re just much more tense. Driving in and of itself is not inherently stressful, it’s the other vehicles on the road which typically cause stress and cortisol levels to rise. These enhanced stress levels can cause areas of our neck and back to tighten up with stress-induced pain, discomfit, and even spasms in some cases.
Driving for multiple hours can result in poor circulation. It’s always a good idea to take a brief stop to stretch every hour or so. This same principle of standing up and stretching should be applied to all activities which involve extended periods of sitting.
Lack of Mobility
There’s not much room to move around when you’re the driver of a vehicle on an extended trip. This lack of mobility and inability to fully extend your legs will most likely result in varying levels of discomfort.
Poor Distribution of Our Weight
When we’re driving for extended periods of time, we’ll often try to shift our weight to relieve pressure on our hips, buttocks, and lower back. This ultimately will cause one side of your body to distribute weight to the other side of your body. In turn, you may experience pain and discomfort on one side more than the other side, resulting in a displaced style of walking.
Contact Us if You’ve Been Having Neck, Back, or Spine Pain
If you’ve been experiencing neck, back, or spine pain; you’ll want to contact us using the form below. We’ll be sure to have you seen by one of our amazing medical specialists as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
DISCLAIMER: No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.