Focus PT September 2018

Avoid Neck Pain While Driving Easy Rider

Stay in the Clear A dirty windshield can be just as bad as poorly adjusted mirrors. Having to lean forward to see when sun and dust cut your visibility causes stress as your neck muscles accommodate. In general, poor vision is a consistent source of these sorts of aches and pains, so it’s a good idea to ensure you have the right pair of glasses (including shades) every time you drive. Let off the Gas Normally, good sitting posture entails having both feet firmly planted on the floor. Drivers don’t typically have that option unless they literally put the pedal to the metal. During long drives on the highway, cruise control is a great option to give your feet a welcome rest. Otherwise, pull over to take a break and stretch your legs if you feel your neck beginning to tense up. There are also preventative measures you can take to avoid pain and discomfort before your next road trip or traffic jam. If you find yourself haunted by chronic neck, back, or shoulder pain no matter how long you drive, it may be time to contact a trusted physical therapist. These may be signs of more serious issues, but physical therapy can help you live and drive pain-free again.

Long commutes will always be a pain in the neck, but the discomfort doesn’t have to be literal. Developing stiffness or soreness in your upper back and neck is all too common in the driver’s seat. It’s annoying at the time, and repeated incidents can lead to more chronic problems down the road. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent this pain from developing behind the wheel. Make Adjustments If you frequently experience neck pain while driving, the position of your seat and mirrors may be the issue. Ideally, you want the back of your driver’s seat to be almost straight, at about a 100-degree angle to the seat. If you find yourself leaning forward to reach the steering wheel from this position, shift the whole seat forward. In older cars without built-in lower back support, it’s a good idea to slide a small pillow between your back and the lower part of the seat. After you have your sitting position figured out, make the necessary adjustments to your mirrors. You should be able to glance at each with minimal head movement. Constantly bobbing or craning your neck to see what’s behind you is a surefire way to develop neck and shoulder pain.

SUCCESS STORY

“I came to Focus for terrible neck pain and spasms. I was so worried not knowing why this was happening to me, especially since all of my reports were normal.

“Julian started working on my neck after a detailed evaluation of my condition. After two sessions, everything started loosening up, and today, after four weeks of physical therapy, I am completely pain- and spasm-free. I feel so great that I feel like I have a totally new life. I am very thankful to Julian and all his wonderful, talented staff. Best place to come to put your life back on track. PAIN-FREE!” -Sujata Vashi

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