Pain While Driving? You Are Not Alone
According to a British study done in 2006, driving can cause quite a bit of pain. Of those involved in the testing, 81% suffered from foot cramps, 74% experienced low back pain, a stiff neck, and side achiness, and 73% reported headaches or eye strain. That is at least three-quarters of drivers! Some reasons for this are obvious: the sloping seats, seats which are an attempt at one-size-fits-all, holding our arms up for long periods of time, and more.
But what we do when driving is also part of the problem. Dealing with difficult traffic and drivers can bring on stress, and the way we usually respond to stress is to tighten up. The next time you are driving, stop to notice any tension you may be holding.
- Are you gripping the steering wheel, or are you holding it lightly with wrists free of tension?
- Are you breathing normally, or are you holding your breath?
- Is your jaw set tight, or is it loose and free?
When you get in the car, make a conscious effort to be aware of allowing your arms and hands to feel free, to be sure your jaw is soft, and that you are breathing deeply. If you need a memory jogger, use the snapping of your seat belt to help you remember. Every time you fasten your seat belt, pause for a moment and look for tension. If you find you are using more tension than necessary, consciously release that tension.
Give these ideas a try and let us know how they help!