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12 Tips for a Pain-Free Carpool

Staying Comfortable While Carpooling

It’s starting again…school that is.  And it’s time to rev up that mini-van and get ready for carpool!  But studies have shown that a lot of people develop neck and backpains while driving/waiting for their children during drop-off and pick-up from school.  Here are some helpful tips to get you on the right track by taking care of your spine during those carpool days:

1. Your sitting position should have some type of incline – about 25 degrees.

2. Push your bottom as near as possible to the backrest. The distance from the seat to the pedals is adjusted so that your knee is slightly bent when the pedals are fully depressed.

2. When adjusting your seat, make sure that the steering wheel is low enough and close to you that your shoulders aren’t hunched.

3. The backrest of the seat should be tilted back ever so slightly, and when turning the steering wheel your shoulders should remain in contact with the seat.

Driving can be stressful but you can make sure to take care of your spine!

Driving can be stressful but you can make sure to take care of your spine!

4. Your hands on the wheel should be at the 9 and 3 O’clock position.

5. The center of your headrest must sit higher than your ears. If it’s lower, it will make your whiplash more severe in the event of an accident.

6. If you have a lumbar feature, make sure you have it protrude ever so slightly that the lumbar part of the back is supported in its natural shape.

7. Set the seat height as high as possible. This ensures an unobstructed view to all sides and all displays on the instrument panel.

8. Empty your back pockets so as not to aggravate the sciatic nerve.

9. When stopped at a light, move your seat around so you aren’t quite as sedentary.

10. Relax while you drive- this could be a challenge depending on how many kids are in the car!

11. Always maintain good back posture (sitting up) while driving so as to avoid slumping.

12. For longer trips, make frequent stops, get out and stretch – getting out of the car, standing up and performing a good stretch helps reset your posture!

Using these tips will help you manage good spinal care while driving to and from school with your precious cargo!

Be Well!

Dr. Scott Minton

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