I drive a lot. How can I protect my back?

Driving is one of the most common places for back pain to start. You can develop tension in your shoulders and back after driving at night, in heavy traffic or for prolonged periods. The following measures can help reduce the risk of tension developing: 

  • Concentrate on good posture. Take some time to adjust the seat, steering wheel and mirrors so that you are comfortable.
  • Keep the steering wheel quite close, as this will create less strain when you turn it.
  • Use a lumbar (lower back) support in the seat. A neck rest is also a good idea.
  • Take care getting in and out of the car. The safest movement is to sit first and slowly swivel round. When leaving, put both feet on the pavement before standing.
  • Try and break up a long journey with some rest breaks. These will help your concentration and make you more likely to drive safely too.
  • After a long car journey, take some exercise such as a long walk. This is not the time to slump in front of the TV!
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.