Posted by: ensomabodyworks | January 26, 2010

Drive Your Way To Less Neck and Shoulder Pain

As a continuation of the “5 Steps to Better Posture” blog,
I offer you a 6th Step:  Drive Consciously
.

Driving…we cannot avoid it.  Driving can be hard on your back, shoulders and neck.  Here are some ways to optimize your time in the car to promote healthy posture and less muscle and disc strain:

1.    Be conscious of how you are seated.  Being aware of your sitting position is the first step towards improving it and removing bad habits.

2.    Set the foundation for good posture.  Make sure you have an arch in your low back.  Most of us do not have enough curve in the low back, whether in the car or standing.

If your car seat is lumbar adjustable, use it to create more of an arch – it may feel weird at first, but it’s good for your low back and actually pulls your shoulders and head back in line with the hips.   If your car seat is not adjustable in the lumbar region, buy a lumbar support or roll up a bath towel and place between your low back and the car seat.

3.    At each stop sign, traffic light, or slow poke in the fast lane, do the following:

A.    Relax your back, neck, and shoulders
B.    Roll shoulders up, back, and down
C.    Breathe, relax some more
D.    Go back to focusing on driving and forget about
keeping the posture right!

4.   The old drivers’ ed is out and the new is in.  Positioning hands on the wheel at “10 and 2” promotes tense and elevated shoulders and tight neck muscles.  Try “8 and 4.” It promotes keeping the shoulders back and down.  Having trouble keeping the shoulders back and down?  Move your seat forward an inch or two.

6.   Practice, practice, practice — and send in comments, questions and “ah ha!” moments.  Changing a habit is an organic process needing modifications, feedback, encouragement, and a positive attitude.

Marty Kestin, the Posture Coach, has a private practice in Charlotte and Lake Norman. He teaches workshops regionally to professionals and laymen alike on improving posture to eliminate orthopaedic conditions and chronic pain.   He also can educate your workforce on ergonomics and Repetitive Strain Injury prevention.

Marty is also available for satellite therapy sessions.  Send him your postural photos, and he will coach you on the phone to create a self-care plan with custom exercises and strategies to get you out of pain and into a pain-free and vibrant lifestyle

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