Does your car suit you?

When having pain, we need to look at all the aspects of our own lives that can contribute.
Driving can create significant stress to the neck, shoulders and back when your seat does not support you properly.
(Most modern cars have several seat adjustments which will make a substantial difference)
Safety must always be the first concern however and any adjustment must still allow you to see the road, your mirrors and instruments easily.

Proper Adjustment

- Bring your seat height up until you can see the road and instruments and your hips are as high as your knees.  If you are still too low, try adding a cushion or wedge to the seat. This can also lessen vibration from the road which may be a contributor to injury.

- Move the seat forward so you can work the pedals without coming away from the seat back.

- Bring the back forward until you are reclined at a 100-110-degree angle. This lessens the pressure on the discs in your lower back.

- Adjust your headrest to the middle of your head.  It should not push your head forward.  Your head should be gently touching (or nearly touching) the headrest when you are sitting upright

- Most cars are now fitted with a lumbar support and you may find winding it out gives your back better support and helps you sit with better posture.   Otherwise, a lumbar support may be added if needed.

- Tilt the seat cushion forward so it supports your thighs and your hips are as high as your knees.

- Adjust the seatbelt to fit you – seat belt height often can be adjusted at the side anchor point. 

- Bring the steering wheel down and toward you to lessen reach and subsequent strain on your neck and shoulders. Elbows should be slightly bent, hands at nine and three o’clock position (or just below) and the instruments should be seen easily through the top half of the steering wheel.

- Now adjust your mirrors.


Give your body a few minutes out of the car before you lift things out of the boot.   A gentle arching backwards can help to move your back after sitting for long periods.
Remove your wallet from your back pocket before sitting – it may cause your pelvis to twist, straining your back.
Minor adjustments to your posture occasionally changes stressors to your body.   Take frequent breaks and stretch at least every 2 hours.

Happy Motoring.