Cars are a thing of our society that almost everyone uses, especially here in Palm Coast. Whether you commute to work outside of town, or stay near to your home, you likely spend many hours over the course of a year in your car. Me being a Chiropractor, near to my heart is helping my patients get great results. We want to help you protect spine and nerves while not in our office, and having proper driving habits is an important thing to consider. We focus on correcting structural concerns in the office, but our patients are taught the importance of protecting the care we give by living in a way that reduces the stress on the ligaments, joints, muscles, and discs of your spine. These all are in an amazing balance, and most of the time they work in harmony to handle our dynamic lives which is full of motion and activities.
A simple, great way to help you drive in a healthier way is what I call, “Set yourself, Set your mirror”. First, you have to make sure you are sitting in an ergonomic position that is the best for your neck, mid back, and lower back. This starts with sitting with you head held high and in line with your shoulders in a normal position, not hunched forward. You will likely find your head gently resting upon the head rest when you bring you head into this position. If you cannot bring your head to this position, just do the best you can. This starting point is something most know and realize, but it is easy to forget when focusing on the road around you. Think about it, if you are in the car for 30 minutes during your drive to work, but your head is in a less than optimal position, you are setting yourself up for failure in the long run. Plus, if you go from your car to another position of sitting, this improper way of sitting can begin to compound. This may end up requiring you to seek outside relief and ask yourself “Is there a Chiropractor near me?”
Next, check your shoulders. They should not be rounded when extending your arms to the steering wheel. If they are, try either moving your seat forward or bringing your steering wheel back towards you. Remember, you should be able to reach and rest your wrists on the top of the steering wheel without moving your shoulders off the back of the driver’s seat.
Then, make sure your low back and bottom is going to be best for your drive. The low back should maintain its natural curve when sitting in the car, just like when you are standing. If you have a lumbar support, this should be set appropriately. You also need to have your bottom touching the back of the seat, not sliding it forward. The more forward your bottom sits, the more stress you will put on your discs in your low back.
Once you are positioned correctly, next is to set your mirrors. With you head held high, position your mirror with the top of your visual field to the top of the rear window, ie, as high as it can go without seeing the headliner. This is a simple trick to make you adjust your sitting position if you happen to shift during the course of your drive. It’s like a constant reminder to sit up. If you begin to slouch for whatever reason and look into the rearview mirror, you won’t be able to see out the back like you need! So have fun on your next drive, and remember to keep you head held high!
By the way, if you ever think, “I need to find a chiropractor near me” we always offer complementary consultations. Our consultations are simply a conversation, never a commitment.