Long drives? Back pain? Here’s some advice.

We have all felt the burn of a long and exhausting journey, whether that involves driving and delivering from a brand-new van, or a faithful old banger. Let’s be honest. Being restricted to the same position for prolonged periods of time can take its toll, especially on your back, and no matter what age you are.

Let’s introduce Simon Reynolds: one of the senior team members over at Formula One McLaren. He was a driver performance manager for over 10 years, so Mr Reynolds definitely knows a thing or two. The now sports therapist has reportedly provided several tips and advice on how to help avoid back pain on those long journeys.

So, let’s talk about seat ergonomics. Before you even think about setting foot inside your vehicle, the prevention of many issues surrounding neck and also back pain can be reduced by simply ensuring complete visibility of a road is available. Checking your viewing mirrors should be an easy, comfortable movement. 

Next, think about reclining the backrest to achieve optimum spine shape, as an unsupported head can lead to tension and backache. An upper spine with no support can also contribute to this. Above all, adequate lumbar support is paramount, as sitting can cause the pelvis to turn and move backward, which stresses the body over time.

Did you know that many car seats are manufactured with different padding, design, and to some extent, shape? Allow seats to benefit you with a cushion that’s thinner to keep natural curvature in your lower back. You’ll find this can prevent pain when driving and could also reduce medical problems later in life.

You should also consider positioning. The seat needs to be placed in a way that provides support for your legs. A common misconception is to have your leg outstretched when applying the brake or when accelerating, but there’s a better way. To maintain optimum comfort and best practice, your leg should be slightly bent when applying the pedal in a vehicle, with your bottom cosy in the driver’s seat.

As for a comfy steering position, allow your elbows to be at a slightly bent angle, but your shoulders should be locked to the seat. For this to work efficiently, the height of your steering wheel may require adjusting. 

With all of this advice in mind, the number one rule is still to take regular breaks for the sake of physical and mental health. Hourly breaks are considered ideal in order to avoid aches and pains when undertaking a long journey, and moving and walking will help the body greatly and relieve any unwanted pain.

So, will you be trying these tips? Whether it’s in your comfy new van or an old banger, we hope it helps you in some way. At least you can rest easy and search for cheap van insurance deals with us, without breaking the bank (or, your back).

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