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Is your car giving you back pain?

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy warns over risk of back pain from having a poor posture while driving.

Suffering from back, neck, shoulder or leg pain? There’s a good chance your commute to and from work could be to blame. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has issued a warning on the dangers of having a bad posture while driving.

Posture problems
Posture problems

The organisation said drivers who fail to adjust their steering wheel and car seat could risk making things worse down the road. Musculoskeletal problems can become more serious if untreated, potentially resulting in time off work.

16.3 million people in the UK either drive or get driven to work (around six out of ten commuters), according to a survey by the RAC Foundation, which looked at the National Travel Survey and 2011 census figures.

“Both people and cars come in different shapes and sizes, and no one size fits all. Most people understand the importance of ensuring that their office workstation is individually suited to them but the car is often overlooked,” chartered physiotherapist Joshua Catlett said.

“It is so important to be aware of your posture when driving. Persistent poor sitting posture can contribute to musculoskeletal pain and discomfort,” he added.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has released a document called ‘Drive Clear of Pain’. It gives a step-by-step guide on how you can make driving more comfortable and best prevent doing yourself any damage.

Tips include raising your seat as high as possible for a maximum view of the road, moving the seat forward so the peddles can be depressed fully and being close enough to the steering wheel so that your elbows are bent at a 30 to 40-degree angle.

Getting out for a 15-minute walk every two hours of driving time is also recommended by the Highway Code. The braver among us can go as far as performing a variety of gentle stretches at the roadside.

Obviously if you are in a great deal of pain you should consult a doctor.

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