For many people in Santa Cruz County, the daily commute averages 45-75 minutes over Highway 17 to Silicon Valley. Whether heading from Aptos, Soquel or Watsonville, all commuters tend to have similar pain. One of the most common complaints, especially for those who work in the high tech industry, is burning pain in the back of the neck and/or across the back of the shoulders.
So what can you do to ease this pain, and work towards preventing it?
Start with These 8 Tips for Driving to Avoid Back and Neck Pain
- Adopt Good Driving Posture. Good posture is essential for a healthy back. CLICK HERE for more on the ergonomics of driving.
- Support Your Head. You have a head rest for two reasons. One, to support your head. Two, in the event of an accident, the headrest prevents your head from being whipped backwards in extension, preventing life threatening and painful injuries. Your headrest should connect with the mid part of the back of your head.
- Support Your Low Back. Use the built-in adjustable lumbar support to fill the small of your back, or you can use a pillow, or even jam your hoodie behind your back. We carry Back Huggar Lumbar Support Cushions for both bucket seats and flat back seats.
- Adjust Your Mirrors. Make sure you have a wide field of view so you don’t have to move your head or twist your body as much.
- Avoid Eye Strain. Wear glasses, clean your windshield, and use sunglasses to prevent craning your head forward and straining your neck while driving.
- Cruise. When possible, utilize your Cruise Control. This gives your body a slight break from the active posture of driving.
- Take a Break. If you feel pain, stiffness or sharp pain, PULL OVER! Give your body a break, make some of the adjustments suggested above, and make sure you get to your destination safely and pain-free.
- Avoid Driving on Bad Roads. Bumpy roads cause a lot of vibrations and can jerk your body, causing increased pain.