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Spend a Lot of Time on Freeways? Here's How To

  • Category: Press Room
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Redlands Community Hospital

New Study Suggests Southern California Leads the Nation for Traffic Congestion –

Learn How to Reduce Back Pain Caused by Commuting

REDLANDS – A new study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that Southern California has seven of the top ten most congested freeway locations. Ask one out of three Southern California long-distance commuters, salespeople or delivery people who spend more than three hours a day in their car how they feel about freeway driving, and the probable answer for many: "it's a pain in the back."

Studies have found that workers who spend at least half their time in an automobile are three times more likely than average workers to have back pain. It's freeway back misery when you add traffic, tension, adjusting a Bluetooth headset, shuffling CDs, or changing the dial on your iPod as you manage the wheel.

“With a few simple practices and a little education you can implement a back care preventive program that will allow you to cope with life in the fast lane," stress spine doctors at Redlands Community Hospital.

Redlands Community Hospital offers these easy "good back" tips for road-weary commuters:

  • Stretch out slowly in the morning. Avoid vigorous exercise because it is at this time that discs are most filled with fluid and especially prone to injury.
  • If you are headed out the door for your commute, put your wallet in your breast pocket. The bulk of a wallet can press on the sciatic nerve when you sit and drive.
  • If you use your mobile phone in the car, remember to use your Bluetooth headset, don’t cradle the phone on your neck while you drive can increase your buildup of back and neck strain. Also, if your seat is too soft could be adding more stress to your back.
  • While you are driving, learn to recognize tension. Put on relaxing music. Try reducing muscle tension by stretching one leg and arm at a time. But be careful not to fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Park your car the farthest from where you have to walk. The walk will do you and your back good, and it may be the only exercise you'll grab before you begin the commute home again.