As with all types of pain, back pain is commonly caused by constant stress. This becomes a problem when we commute, and since we have recently started communing much further on average, it seems that the tension levels will begin rising steadily again as we go on. To avoid painful situations and back or neck problems, there are a few minor steps you can take to ensure that you are both as relaxed and as ergonomically supported as possible.
Firstly, if your seat is not comfortable enough for going the distance, see if using a seat cushion or lumbar support helps. You can also support your lumbar region by rolling up a towel or a similar material based object to the thickness of your forearm and tucking it into the space where the small of your back meets the seat.
The tension of driving in rush hour traffic sends your shoulders toward your ears. To combat this, roll your shoulders, loosen your grip on the wheel and spread out your fingers. Since most people hold tension in their neck and back, keep yours relaxed by stretching your neck from side to side when you’re safely stopped. Take advantage of sitting at a red light by doing shoulder shrugs and rolls, changing your sitting position, and stretching a bit.
Make it a habit to use your headrest rather than craning your head forward to focus on the road.
Give yourself at least five minutes of additional time before leaving the house to relieve some of the stress associated with commuting so if there is a delay you won’t feel the pressure or concern of being late.
Finally, before you begin your commute, take a few minutes to stretch and eliminate any stiffness in your arms, legs and torso. If you’ve had a stressful ride, stretch again and take a few deep breathes to get “centered” before starting your work day.
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