Friday, 6 July 2007

Choosing a car if you have back issues. Eight essential checks

Back Pain Hints and Tips on Choosing a Car if you have Back Issues or Sciatica Symptoms. Eight essential checks.

If you have back pain or sciatica symptoms or one of the many back pain conditions you may want to think about a few extra points when the time comes to be choosing your next car. As sitting in a car and driving was the worst thing for me when I got back pain and sciatica and always aggravated my pain significantly this is a subject close to my heart…and my back!

Wouldn’t it be nice if all we had to concern ourselves with was the colour, sleekness, safety features, performance and all the great gadgets? You will have your own priorities for any vehicle you want to purchase such as space, petrol/gas consumption, eco friendliness, child safety features, room for dogs etc. You know what your needs and wishes are on all those points.

So now whether it is a brand new car or new to you what additional points do we need to take into account if we have back pain and sciatica?

  • Look for a car you can get in and out of easily and without aggravating your back pain or sciatic symptoms too much. Cars that are positioned too high or especially too low may prove difficult for you to negotiate with a bad back in the long term. The sales folk may think you are crazy, but do get in and out of the car several times and see how it feels to you. See if it is comfortable to enter and exit and if it feels difficult, you get spasms or additional pain or it gets progressively awkward for your back it is likely not right for you.

  • If the cars steering wheel tilts this may make it easier for you to get in and out of with back issues, ask if it has this feature and try it out. Test how easy it is for you to operate.

  • Power steering is wonderful and will help you a lot if you have upper or lower back pain and sciatica. Most cars do have this now but do check.

  • Check out the seat controls and test just how adjustable they really are. Ideally every feature including headrests, seat position, easy forward and backward adjustment, lumbar support, and tilt should be adjustable and if the adjustments are automatic that is all for the better. I have struggled to find a car seat with sufficient lumbar support to keep me and my back happy (in my price range!) so if you have back pain and you find a lumbar support helps you take it along and see how it works for you in the test drive.

  • Examine if the seats have heat controls. If they do this can be great to be able to switch on soothing heat while you travel which can ease aching muscles and help to lessen stiffness in your back muscles incurred in driving. It would also save the need to carry heat pads for your journey. However if it doesn’t have heat controls, or you have to pay a lot extra for them using heat pads is good alternative.

  • Inspect the boot or trunk. Test how easy it is for you to open and close it. Bear in mind that you will often be lifting items, some heavy, in and out of it. The shallower the boot and flatter the lip or overhang of the boot/trunk edge, the better for your back. Lifting suitcases or shopping bags into a deep boot/trunk is often difficult for people with back issues.

  • Check how easy it is for you to reach all the controls in the vehicle, both for the driving controls and the maintenance controls. Are you able to manage the essentials such as lifting the bonnet or hood of the car to inspect the oil, water e.t.c.

  • It is essential you take a thorough test drive to ensure the vehicle meets all of your needs. You need to know how it feels to drive the vehicle for some time in a variety of situations to judge the impact on your back. Take it on a variety of roads and try to choose a vehicle with good suspension which minimizes any bumps and jarring on your back.

So as with most things in life if you are coping with back pain and sciatica symptoms or other back pain issues you just may need to take a little more care over your choice of vehicle. It is worth taking the time over it, checking out the vehicle in WHICH guide http://www.which.co.uk/reports_and_campaigns/cars/index.jsp
and asking questions. Most of all you need to test it out thoroughly.

Your back will thank you for it!
If you are interested in learning more about a way to get rid of the back pain and sciatica I have written a review on the system I used consider the lose the back pain system for great back pain and sciatica relief exercises, back pain information, support and expertise to help you get rid of the back pain and sciatica.


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Lose The Back Pain System

Lose the Back Pain, is a system of self assessments to determine what physical imbalances you may have that may be causing your pain, then specific and targeted exercises to follow to address the imbalances, along with pain reduction strategies. 

For useful information and suggestions there is a Free Back Pain Book Written by the Healthy back Institute-

7 Day Back Pain Cure
This free book (there is a small shipping/handling fee for physical book) will give you a good starting point for taking back control of your back pain covering reasons for pain, pain relief, possible treatments, action plans and many other things you will find useful.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Something that really helped me was buying a power converter that plugs into the cigarette lighter and adapts to a plug-in. I then plug in my heading pad. It works wonderfully!.

jasmine ann said...

Hi there,

Thank you so much for posting that great tip, that is very helpful :)