Tips to Avoid Back Pain when Driving in the car from KOS Ergonomics Dublin IrelandCauses of Back Pain in the car

Injuries or discomfort when driving

1. Sitting for to long without movement.

2. Whole body vibration

The sitting position flattens out the small of your back, increasing the pressure on the discs in your spine. When you are sitting, your discs may not be able to handle the vibrations from your vehicle.

Also, the ligaments in your back that help to hold your spine together as you move can stretch and slacken when you sit for a long time. And they can stay that way for a while, even after you stand.

These stresses on your discs and ligaments can increase your risk of back injury and back pain.

Whole-body vibration triggers bursts of back muscle activity. This unconscious activity causes neck and back muscles to get tired more quickly, and reduces the support these muscles can give to the spine. Even if the muscles are not working very hard, without rest they will become fatigued which increases the risk of back injury. Exposure to whole body vibration for a long time and the increased disc pressure from sitting can injure your back.

More Information:

Injuries or discomfort are also caused by:

  • Poor posture - from personal habit, or from an improperly adjusted or fitted seat
  • Stress or tension
  • Holding the gas pedal down for a long time
  • The continuous upper back and neck muscle work that is required to hold the head in position, especially if there is vibration
  • Low frequency whole-body vibration from the moving vehicle or more severe up- and down- vibrations experienced when driving on uneven or bumpy road surfaces.

Workers at risk

People who drive for a living or spend long periods of time sitting in a vehicle are at increased risk for injury.

Occupations include truck drivers, ambulance drivers, taxi and bus drivers, delivery people, heavy equipment operators, farmers, forklift operators and anyone who drives for long periods of time on a regular basis.