Does your back hurt more when you drive? It’s not a surprise to me because I’ve sat in lots and lots of car seats and I don’t like ’em.
Some designers seem to think that car seats are for lounging. C’mon now. Drivers are supposed to be alert and able to see the road. I’d like to be supported rather than reclining.
1. But sometimes car seats don’t have anything to support your lower back while you are reclin…I mean, driving. If you don’t have a lumbar support you can create one easily and cheaply. Fold a hand towel into quarters or eighths or whatever thickness fits between you and your car seat. It goes behind your waist.
If you have access to a small baby pillow or a batt of fiberfill they will work, too. You might even find a nicely shaped lumbar support at the dollar store. When I found a bin of them at a dollar store I bought several. Those are some of the best dollars I have ever spent!
2. Sometimes car seats recline so much that your head is forced to jut forward. That strains upper back and neck muscles. If you can put your seat into a more upright position that will help.
3. Lots of headrests stick out too far. All I can figure is that the designers are trying to support the heads of people who are really dysfunctional and are ignoring the folks with nice, neutral, straight posture. It’s really annoying for someone with nice posture to sit in those cars; they cause head and neck pain in short order. What can you do if your headrest sticks out too far? Well, you could throw it out the window. Or you could just pad up the seat back so your whole body will move forward. And in some cars adding a lumbar pillow or support can move you forward just enough so the headrest won’t bug you as much.
So your back pain might not be your fault. If you hurt when you drive it could well be your seat. If your car seat isn’t comfortable for you, give yourself some props, cushions or supports. Create your own custom seat so you can drive without back pain.
Here’s another idea: Sometimes use the lumbar support and sometimes don’t. Or use differently sized back supports. Switch it up so you keep flexing your muscles and spine in different ways. That will keep things flexible.
We like flexible, relaxed backs. They don’t have pain.