back-hurtsIf you suffer from chronic back pain, driving is probably something you try to minimize, if not avoid altogether. It’s just not comfortable.

Sometimes, though, you can’t avoid it. It’s just something you’ve got to do. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help minimize the pain that is so often associated with the simple act of driving. While the tips below certainly can’t be seen as a cure-all or a magic bullet, they’ll go a long way toward reducing your pain.

First, posture matters. When sitting behind the wheel, you want to adjust your seat such that your knees are at least slightly above your hips. Doing this will help take pressure off of your lower back, which will reduce the pain and discomfort.

Second, and this also has to do with posture, don’t recline the seat too much. You want it reclined some, but only just enough so that you can grip the steering wheel comfortably. More than that, and your sitting position is awkward, which will, in short order, increase your pain level.

Third, let’s talk about your wallet. Whenever possible, you should avoid sitting on your wallet, because it will cause you to sit unevenly, increasing pressure on your spin, and adding to your pain and discomfort. This is true when sitting behind the wheel as well. If nothing else, just place your wallet on the seat next to you when driving.

Fourth, consider lumbar support. This makes a huge difference. If your vehicle comes with lumbar support built into the seats, by all means use it. If it does not, then use a pillow or a folded towel at the small of your back. Use something to give you more support.

Finally, if you have to drive for an extended period, be sure to stop at frequent intervals to take stretch breaks, and be sure to move and keep your limbs and joints loosened up.

Taken together, these strategies will make a big difference in your pain levels, and at least make driving bearable.