Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Does Your Car Fit You, or... Does This Bucket Seat Make My Butt Look Big?

Poor ergonomics in the driver's seat can lead to headaches, neck, back and hip pain, even pain or numbness in your hands! 

Do you have an ill-fitting car? Those bucket seats look comfy at the dealer, and feel pretty good to sit in long enough for the test drive. But over time with countless hours of commuting, or long road trips, what happens?  Those seats can be too short to support your whole thigh, forcing the edge of the seat into fatiguing hamstrings, especially if you have to stomp frequently and forcefully on the clutch in city driving.

Ill-designed arm and head-rests can lead to driving-related chronic pain and rotator cuff issues.

Missing or ill-placed armrests make you rest your elbow somewhere that forces your shoulder out of anatomical neutral and holds it that way for hours. Missing or ill-positioned lumbar support throws your head forward and loads up your neck muscles, and the biggest culprit, forward-jutting headrests, keeps your head from sitting atop your cervical spine, even if you add the correct lumbar support. Arms, lumbar spine and thighs all must be adequately supported, sitting up straight should feel restful, and steering wheel must be comfortably and safely held, all while your feet reach the pedals! That's quite an ergonomic juggling act, and some cars simply can not be adjusted to fit some people. When treating myofascial head, neck, back or hip pain, check your car fit for perpetuating factors that can be re-activating trigger points, and see if they can be corrected.

When purchasing a car, always be sure to try it on for an ergonomic fit that will keep you comfortable for the long haul!

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