Our advice against back pain in the car

Our advice against back pain in the car

Back pain in the car: “What are your tips for preventing pain while driving?”

It’s a reality: 80% of French people will suffer from back pain during their lifetime. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is in fact responsible for a sharp increase in the frequency of pathologies of the spine (or spine in medical language), in particular low back pain or back pain. Prolonged sitting in the car, especially during long journeys, can promote them by causing muscle tension and crushing our intervertebral discs. Here are the main causes of these phenomena and our advice …

Several causes lead to these back pain

  • 1  Accelerations: they are at the root of the problem. Gravity is constantly putting pressure on our intervertebral discs *. In the car, the accelerations (or famous “g”) in the antero-posterior and lateral axes add to the gravity and act as disruptors on our spine, forcing our muscles to make constant adjustments to maintain its balance.
  • 2  Vibrations: caused by the mechanics or the road, they are sources of pain, despite the efforts of automotive engineers to minimize their transmission to passengers.
  • 3  The driving position: sitting at an angle that is too steep, tense up on the steering wheel or, conversely, slouch down like on your sofa, all these unsuitable positions aggravate muscle tension.
  • 4  A pre-existing pathology: herniated disc, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, etc. A simple short drive can put a strain on a fragile back.

First of all, choose the right car and the right equipment

Choosing the right car is essential to maximize comfort and minimize the impact on the back. It is important to choose one that you can sit in without twisting. Slightly tall vehicles, such as minivans, crossovers, SUVs, are interesting on this point, which partly explains their success. To avoid inflicting potentially traumatic clutch and gear changes on yourself, opt for an automatic transmission. On the damping side, it is better to have suspensions geared towards comfort or an adaptive system allowing its characteristics to be modified depending on the road or the condition of the road. Also, big rims are nice, but a smaller fit will increase the sidewall height of your tires and offer increased comfort. As for the seats, prefer them enveloping with lateral support elements, if possible electrically adjustable to make micro-adjustments. Adjustable armrests are a definite plus! Heated seats are also a great investment to relax your muscles. Honorable mention for lumbar supports, but they will not suit all body types and must be properly adjusted. Poorly regulated, they can cause more harm than good. Otherwise, forget about the massage function. It is more like an expensive gadget than a real breakthrough in the prevention of low back pain. Heated seats are also a great investment to relax your muscles. Honorable mention for lumbar supports, but they will not suit all body types and must be properly adjusted. Poorly regulated, they can cause more harm than good. Otherwise, forget about the massage function. It is more like an expensive gadget than a real breakthrough in the prevention of low back pain. Heated seats are also a great investment to relax your muscles. Honorable mention for lumbar supports, but they will not suit all body types and must be properly adjusted. Poorly regulated, they can cause more harm than good. Otherwise, forget about the massage function. It is more like an expensive gadget than a real breakthrough in the prevention of low back pain.

When it’s time to hit the road, adopt the right reflexes

Before a trip, consider warming up and stretching to limit muscle tension. Then, be sure to get into your car without twisting, making sure to keep your feet together and turn evenly, after sitting askew. This will limit the stress that the rotation of the lower limbs and pelvis relative to your trunk would impose on your back. Your backrest should be tilted around 110 °. Adjust the seat so that your knees can stay slightly bent when you step on a pedal. Then adjust the steering wheel so that your wrists rest on the top of its rim when you extend your arms. And, wedged in the seat, tighten your seat belt. Not everyone having Lewis Hamilton’s physical condition, adopt a flexible and not sporty ride if you want to preserve your lower back. You will thus reduce the various accelerations andde facto, the constraints imposed on your spine and, consequently, on those of your passengers. The latter can indeed hardly anticipate the movements of the vehicle and react reflexively to changes of direction, which maximizes the risk of low back pain for them. Every two hours (more often if necessary), to preserve your vigilance and your back, consider taking a break. And take the opportunity to walk and stretch.

Preserving your back: to do or not to do

To do

> Regular and adapted physical activity is essential even for driving. The sedentary lifestyle causing weakening of the muscles, this makes their adjustments less rapid and effective, which disrupts the posture of the spine and makes the bed of pathologies of the spine.

> Use the cruise control on open motorways. This will also rest your right leg.

Not to do

> Wear a lumbar support belt regularly. Useful occasionally in cases of acute low back pain, it should be avoided as a preventive measure, because it weakens the muscles.

* This explains why astronauts grow a few centimeters during their stay in space. Their intervertebral discs gain height in weightlessness.

Citroën C4 SpaceTourer (2020) bows out

Citroën C4 SpaceTourer (2020) bows out

Citroën withdraws the C4 SpaceTourer compact people carrier from the market. The Grand C4 SpaceTourer is still available.

End clap for the Citroën C4 SpaceTourer . The chevron brand’s compact MPV, launched in 2013 under the name C4 Picasso then restyled in 2016 and renamed in 2018, has just disappeared from the manufacturer’s catalog. He descended from the Xsara Picasso that appeared more than 20 years ago. Note that the Grand C4 SpaceTourer, extended version with seven seats, is still available. He is probably living his last months on the market.

After seven years in the catalog, the C4 SpaceTourer has enjoyed a classic commercial life. On the other hand, the fact that Citroën has not announced any direct replacement for this model once again reflects the loss of speed in the MPV market in favor of that of SUVs, pushing manufacturers to reorganize their ranges. Soon, the only truly family vehicle of the firm will be the Citroën SpaceTourer , a “touring” version of the Jumpy utility vehicle .

A choice for the Grand C4 SpaceTourer

For the moment, therefore, the Citroën Grand C4 SpaceTourer remains in the catalog with a relatively extensive offer divided into three finishes. It is offered with the PureTech 130 petrol engine with manual or automatic transmission, as well as with the Blue Hdi 130 and BlueHDi 160 diesel units, the latter only available with the EAT8 transmission. Its prices start at € 30,300 and some versions still escape any ecological penalty.