As a working mum I spend a considerable amount of time in the drivers seat of my car, whether it is to pick and drop my kids to school and classes or to drive to work. If you have work travel or long meetings as a part of your job this could add up to sitting for long hours. It is not uncommon for working mums to get neck and shoulder pain from all these hours of sitting. In this blog, lets discuss four simple tips that you can implement today to prevent neck and shoulder pain when driving.
First tip is to look at a point on the road directly in front of you and then bringing your gaze down by 5 to 10 degrees. This is the neutral position for the cervical spine that keeps your cervical spine in neutral and prevents neck pain. This is known as a chin nod, which is a postural correction that is applicable to your everyday activities as well, whether looking at a computer screen or reading a book. You can adjust your seat height or use a cushion on your seat to get your gaze at this 5 to 10 degree angle.
Second tip is to avoid shrugging your shoulders. For this hold the steering wheel at the mid to lower part. When you hold the steering wheel at the top it naturally causes shrugged shoulders. This builds up a lot of stresses on the cervical spine and shoulder, thus causing pain in that area.
Third tip is to put a tennis ball or a massage ball or a rolled up towel between your shoulder blades (anywhere from the top to mid of the shoulder blades), such that it sits between your thoracic spine and the cat seat. Whenever you slouch the ball will roll off your mid back, thus reminding you to keep your spine erect. This will help you prevent rounded shoulders and neck and shoulder pain!
Fourth tips is to use your time at the traffic lights or waiting times when picking or dropping the kids to school or classes to do small movements of the neck and shoulder. This prevents the stresses from the day, specially the long hours of driving from building up in the neck and shoulder and thus preventing pain in these areas. Here are some easy desk based exercises that can be modified to use in the car for this purpose.
If you get back pain while driving watch this video to get four easy tips to prevent this pain:
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