The spine is subjected to considerable vibration and jolting.
Modern cars have a lower roof line and so reduced internal space.To allow this the seat is often lowered and tipped back which causes the legs to be straighter, placing strain on the hamstrings, in turn pulling on their pelvic attachments and resulting in the pelvis rolling backwards.
Strain is also placed on the cervical spine (neck) due to the seat being tipped back and the driver having to flex the neck by up to 20 degrees in order to look straight ahead.
What is the best driving position?
Ensure as much of your thighs are supported by the seat as possible.
Don't sit too far away from the pedals as this may put additional strain on the upper back and neck.
Adjust the steering wheel so that you can reach it with bent arms with hands in the 10 to 2 position.
If you have a lumbar support adjust it so it presses gently on the lower back at belt height.
What can help ease low back pain when driving?
Lumbar support is important. If your car seat does not supply enough lumbar support then an in-car lumbar support can be purchased.
Automatic cars place less strain on the back as constant clutch use in a manual places pressure on the lumbar discs.
If you only find you get back pain on longer journeys, don't try to complete the journey in one go.
Stop regularly, get out of the car and move around.
After long periods of driving your back is weaker and more susceptible to injury, so resist the temptation to bend and stretch.
Regular massage therapy can help correct and alleviate back pain.