When it comes to neck pain that builds up slowly over time, having bad posture is usually involved. This is why it’s important to focus on your posture throughout your daily routine – not just for one part of your day!

In This Article:

Neck pain from work or your job treatment
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Most Common Cause Of Neck Pain

Another Day. Another Neck Pain. Your routine is making your neck pain worse…

You get up, start the commute to work by sitting in your car. If you’re lucky, you are rushing to get ahead of the traffic. If you’re unlucky, you’re already stuck in the traffic.

You can’t win!

  • The stress caused by focusing intensely on driving can contribute to neck pain
  • Bad sitting posture in a car seat for up to 90 minutes will lead to neck and lower back pain

As we said in our Desk Job Causing Back Pain Blog, you are probably sitting 8 hours a day at your desk. It’s a recipe to exacerbate your bad posture.

And who doesn’t love that drive home in the evening? It’s a miracle you survive… you reward yourself by sitting down to eat your evening meal, maybe even watching TV.

Is it any wonder so many people have posture issues like neck pain, low back pain, shoulder stiffness and headaches? Well – that’s life. There’s nothing you can do – you’re just caught in the rat-race… or is there really nothing that can be done?

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Neck Pain Kit Contains A Brace

Let’s look at the day’s first issue. Driving!

Driving is usually stressful. Traffic, road rage and the car that just cut you off without indicating can all contribute to how you feel behind the wheel. But it’s not just the external elements that can make your daily commute or road trip less enjoyable – your driving posture and the way you change your position in the car can contribute to neck and shoulder pain.

If you are in your car for a very short amount of time, say less than 30 minutes, then you may be able to get away with a less than perfect driving position.

However, if you are regularly driving for more than 30 minutes then a bad driving position could start to cause you problems over time. This is because when you are sitting in your car you do not have much opportunity to move your body. This can cause your muscles and joints tend to tighten up.

Upper back brace for neck pain, back pain, whiplash and posture
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Pain From Driving Is Ultimately Posture Pain

Over time you will slouch into a poor postural position putting added stress to your neck and shoulder muscles making them tight and weak. Muscles that are tight and weak are prone to injury which causes pain and inflammation. You will feel this in the neck and shoulder areas, and this can even cause headaches and serious lower back pain!

When you are sitting badly then your body is not supported by the car seat and your muscles will be working harder to hold you in position and will tighten more.

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Posture - Information Booklet

Fastest Way To Fix Neck Pain & Bad Posture

  • Adjust Your Seat – Ergonomically.
    • Don’t sit too far back.
    • Don’t strain your neck forward to look out the windscreen
    • Are you gripping the steering wheel too tightly?
    • Your seated position should be promoting an upright relaxed spine. Try adjusting your seat closer or further away from the steering wheel. 
    • Adjust your seat properly and sit back and allow the seat to support you in your best alignment. This will help reduce stress to your neck, shoulders and lower back.
  • Relax Your Arms.
    • This takes practice. Your arms should not be reaching out of socket when you drive. The seat position helps with this. Your arms should be relaxed with a gentle bend in the elbow. Are you using the arm rests on either side of you to help take the load off your shoulders and spine?
  • Bring Your Head Back.
    • For most people, the back of your head should be touching the head rest with your chin level and shoulders back. Think about elongating the spine as you drive. Even if you practice resting your head against the headrest for 20 second holds, this will help.

Tips To Ease Driving Posture Pain

  • Lumbar Support Pillow.
    • If there’s a gap between the seat and your lower back, you might consider using a lumbar support pillow when you drive. This can help ease lower back pain and support the natural curve of your spine. 
  • Wedge cushion.
    • This will help raise your hips and take some pressure from your spine and pelvis,as having your knees higher than your hips can cause hamstring and glute discomfort.
  • Bucket seats.
    • Avoid them.
  • Utilize cruise control.
    • Allows you more freedom to move your shoulders and hips.
  • Consider hand position at 4 and 8.
    • This hand position may be more restful for shoulder and neck support rather than the 10 and 2 position we have taught previously.
  • Position your mirrors correctly
    • Adjust with your head and body in the correct position – as above!
  • Take breaks during long drives
    • You should not be driving more than two hours without taking a short break to stretch and get your blood circulating. It’s no secret that sitting for a prolonged amount of time is bad for your health!
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My Pain Kit - Methodology

What To Do If Your Neck Pain Is Serious

Always consult a trained medical professional for a start! Get a full diagnosis. Then you can work with them to address the problems. On the side you can be working on your own daily routine to correct any posture imbalances.

The tips above I have learned over two decades in clinical practice dealing with people with neck and low back pain. Repetitive strains from prolonged sitting under stress such as driving will almost definitely lead to musculoskeletal problems. If you get injured, you definitely don’t want to use drug therapies to deal with your pain – a drug-free approach to pain relief is best!

Hopefully these tips regarding driving techniques will help and decrease your chances of developing neck pain in the future!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Is The Best Way To Drive Without Pain?

Provided you haven’t got an underlying injury, then it’s best to address your driving posture. Sit up straight, and keep your shoulders back. Don’t tilt your head too far forward – are you straining to see ahead? You might need glasses. Above all, take regular breaks and perform some movement, stretch and strength exercises to keep your neck moving.

Why Is Driving Bad For Your Back?

Driving is not necessarily bad for your back, but if you are experiencing pain, there are some things you can change. If you don’t have a specific injury, you should benefit from movement and stretch exercises from time to time – to keep your back from staying in the same place. Look at your seat height and incline – try to have the best posture while driving to minimise stiffness. Stop driving from time to time and get plenty of movement.

What Causes Hip Pain While Driving?

Firstly, getting in and out of the car can cause your hip to move in an awkward manner. You’ve got to be careful to support your body weight by holding onto the door or frame, while easing yourself into the seat.

Next, look at how your legs look when sitting in the chair. If they are splayed outwards, consider inserting a small cushion on the outside of your hip/leg to bring it back inwards. This will help re-align your leg with your hip.

Lastly, just try not to sit driving for too long without a break. Do some movement and stretch exercises as often as you can.

Neck pain from work or your job treatment
Neck Pain Kit
£ 59.99
  • EUR: € 69.99
  • USD: $ 79.99
Beautiful posture for young people experiencing pain
Posture Kit
£ 59.99
  • EUR: € 69.99
  • USD: $ 79.99
Back Pain Remedy Pack
Back Pain Kit
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  • USD: $ 79.99