How to Drive With Sciatica

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Sciatic nerve pain can be a debilitating condition, and sometimes driving even short periods of time can cause your sciatica to act up. Many people live relatively normal lives, despite sciatica, employing special techniques to lessen the pain. There are a number of things you can do to improve and decrease the pain of sciatica when you drive.

Stretch properly before getting in the car. There are a number of prescribed stretches for patients with sciatica that can help loosen the strain on the muscles and back. Performing stretches before you drive can lessen pain caused from sitting.

Take frequent breaks to walk around and exercise your muscles if you are planning a long distance car trip. You may need to plan frequent stops and leave earlier than normal, but giving yourself a break from the seated position and leg movements required to operate a vehicle will lessen the pain.

Reduce the amount of stress you endure while driving by listening to soothing music and relaxing yourself. Driving is a stressful activity and unwanted stress will cause you to tense the muscles in your body, which could activate pain in the sciatic nerve.

Use a portable heating pad and back massager. Providing heat and massage to your back while driving will help you relax the muscles and reduce the pain.

Avoid sitting with anything in your back pockets, such as a wallet or cell phone, that might affect your posture.

Use a driving wedge to help you maintain your posture while driving. Many of us tend to slouch and try to relax while driving, which can potentially create back strain and tension. A driving wedge can keep you seated properly.

Share the driving with another driver if you are planning a long distance car trip or commute to work.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not take any medications for pain that might contribute to drowsiness before operating a motor vehicle.

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