How To Avoid Gridlock From Locking Up Your Back

I talk about it frequently, but because cars and traffic are so much a way of life for us Southern Californians, that it needs repeating – driving can be a real pain in the you know what, but don’t let it lead to pain in your back!


Over the course of the week, whether it is to and from work, or shuttling the kids around to soccer, softball, and karate, the grind can wreak havoc on our bodies.


After long stretches of sitting, we may find our backs aching and our necks feeling a little stiffer than when we started our cars!


No matter where you drive in Orange County, if it’s a short commute from Irvine to Newport Beach, or you’re making the haul from Costa Mesa to Downtown L.A., I want you to focus on three things to keep your body feeling fresh.


Get Comfortable

You’d think we’d make our driving situations as comfortable as possible, but you’d be surprised how many people end up aching after a commute. A lot of this can be rectified with the proper seat and steering wheel positioning. Some people slide their seats all the way back to accommodate their legs but end up stretching to properly handle the steering wheel and other controls. I also see a lot of people recline their seats back too far, which forces them to tilt their heads forward to see. This ends up putting pressure on your spine and neck, much like Text Neck I’ve told you about!


Position yourself as close to the steering wheel as possible to limit all of your reaching. The constant reaching forward places more stress on your spine, neck, shoulder, and wrists. One other thing I recommend is a gel pillow to either sit on or to use behind your back. If you are a patient at our Irvine chiropractic office, don’t forget to ask us about the best ones for you.


Get Stretching

You don’t have to drive far in OC to spend 30-45 minutes in your car. Depending on when you leave, traffic can be a real grind. The best way to be proactive against pain is to stretch out your muscles before they start hurting.   Driving can tax our back, leg, neck, and arm muscles. So while you’re grabbing that first cup o’ Joe, make sure you take some deep breaths and wiggle out some of the stiffness that may have already started to set in. Don’t overlook this. You might scoff and say, it was only a 20-30 minute drive, but remember, you may be about to sit another 8 hours at a desk. So, get stretching!


Get Ice

There’s no real magic here. Ice helps relieve inflammation. If you can pack an extra bag in your lunch cooler, throw it on your neck, or use it on your back. If you don’t want to use it at the office, use it on the car ride home. It will help cool you down in our summer heat too.


Our chiropractic team of wellness doctors, Vasili Gatsinaris, James Kim, and Adam Abulghualya specialize in chiropractic and wellness care. Our Irvine chiropractic office is located near John Wayne Airport, convenient for people living in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Santa Ana and other surrounding Orange County communities.


Let our Orange County chiropractic team make a plan and treat your injury so that you are not restricted from your active lifestyle. To learn more about our variety of services or to schedule an appointment, take advantage of our Facebook new patient special and contact us or call 949-263-9003 today.


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