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Tim Marris

How to correctly adjust your car seat to reduce backache

Posted by Tim Marris

1243 Days Ago

These instructions on adjusting your car seat if followed carefully should have a beneficial effect on your spine and comfort when driving your car. Most people just get into their car and make adjustments to the seat without considering just what effect they are truly having. If you set up your seat incorrectly, each and every time you sit in it, the seat will take your back into an uncomfortable position! These instructions will take your back into the most comfortable possible position on getting into your car in the future.

Your Back is King

1. Sit in your car seat and adjust the back of the seat so that it is fully down and well away from your own back and pelvis.

2. Sit so that your own pelvis is close to but not up against the seat area.

3. Close your eyes. This will allow you to be more body aware and able to find the most comfortable position for your spine and your car seat.

4. Take at least 2-3 minutes and ideally up to up to 5 minutes, just sitting with your eyes closed. With your eyes closed and taking your awareness to your spine, pelvis, neck and shoulder girdle; slowly move each of these areas, making yourself more and more comfortable. DO NOT rush this process - it is the key to the whole thing.

5. When you feel as comfortable as possible without your moving position, adjust the back of the seat, until it just meets your spine in this position.

6. Now do the same for the lumbar support - keeping your spine in the position from No 4.above, so that the lumbar support just meets your spine.

7. DO NOT alter your head and neck position from that achieved at instruction No 4. If you have moved, take some time to re-find it. Now adjust the height of the seat (if your seat allows this adjustment) so that you are comfortable looking out of the middle of the front windscreen.

8. Now adjust the rear view mirror so that you are looking comfortably through the middle of the rear windscreen when looking in the mirror.

9. Next we adjust the steering wheel position (some cars can adjust the stem of the wheel in different directions and a 'to and fro' position. Without touching the steering wheel, raising your arms with your eyes closed and decide where do your arms want to be so that the shoulders are comfortable if holding an imaginary steering wheel. Take your time, do your shoulders want to be higher or lower, nearer to you or further away? Then adjust the real steering wheel to that comfortable position you have just found.

10 Finally adjust the wing mirrors keeping this comfortable seating position so that you just see down the sides of your own car and the road next to your car (from where oncoming vehicles will be).

Now you have a seating position which is based on your spine being comfortable not based on a random series of adjustments. Do also follow the driving advice in the article on 'Reducing back pain and backache when driving'.

Tim Marris

Article written by Tim Marris - Ashford

I qualified as a registered osteopath in 1978 at the British School of Osteopathy, and have been in private practice since that time.
I have been involved in postgraduate training of qualified osteopaths in the gentle 'cranial osteopathy' approach since 1982,and currently teach cranial osteopathy in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Russia.
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