5 tips for LOW BACK PAIN sufferers in the CAR

Most of us will be sitting in the car at some time over the course of a day. With some people, it’s their job to sit in a car or truck, such as taxi drivers or couriers. If you have lower back issues then it is important to minimise the stress on your low back. In this video Dr. Lisa, chiropractor goes through 5 tips to help that lower back while driving.

1. Getting in and out of the car

We often say to people who come into the office and need advice about sitting in the car, to pretend you have a tight skirt on. When getting into the car, sit with your knees facing the open door and swing both legs around to get into the driving position. Same when getting out of the car. Swing both knees and legs out of the car towards the open door. Then, using your glutes and hamstring muscles, push yourself off the seat. Avoid ‘climbing’ into and out of the car. Ladies, it is far more lady like to to enter and exit the car this way. 

2. Leg position

Aim to have your knees slightly lower than your knees. If your seat doesn’t allow that you may need to place a downward facing wedged cushion under your bottom. Feet should not be crossed if you are using cruise control. Have feet flat on the floor.

3. Lower back support

It is important to maintain your normal forward low back curve. This is also known as a lumbar lordosis. If you don’t have a lumbar support built into your driver’s seat, then you may need to use a small, thin cushion to maintain that curve.

4. Keep upright – avoid leaning

Avoid leaning left or right while driving. Leaning onto the console or the window ledge is not allowing your spine to be as relaxed as possible. It places strain on your back, and may aggravate your lower back condition. Aim to stack shoulders over hips and maintain great upright posture. Remember to make sure that your head rest is supporting your head and not pushing your head forward. Your ear should sit over your shoulder in a neutral position. 

5. Arm position

With your arms, it is best to have them relaxed and as close to your side as possible. Locking arms out in front of you is not ideal. 

If you are driving distances, then factor a break every 1-2 hours and make sure you walk around and stretch when you get out of the car. 

Parents and guardians may find they are twisting to see what little passengers are doing in the back seat. This can be an issue if the child or baby is upset or if children are fighting in the back seat. There is no easy answer here, however, as a parent I found it useful to have their CD’s to play in order to distract them or sing some favourite songs. Reciting times tables can be handy in these situations with older children. Do your best to avoid twisting to the back.

Utilise Your Time at Traffic Lights

Here are a few ideas to help your mind and body while waiting at the lights.

  1. Deep Breathing exercises. Follow this link to find out more

2. Core bracing. Follow this link to find out more

3. Pelvic floor exercises

Any questions with any of the points above, please feel free to email us at

Drive safely everyone.