With the change of seasons comes changes in schedules. Post Labor Day, you may find yourself in the car more often as you ferry kids to and from school. With offices reopening to welcome back employees, your regular commute may also resume. This means more time spent in the car, and as events and travel opportunities widen your autumn season you may elect to drive more. It’s important, therefore, to manage your joint pain so your activity behind the wheel isn’t exacerbated.
When any part of your body aches — your hands, knees, or back — you are likely to experience discomfort in the driver’s seat. Arthritis, in particular, can affect your ability to steer and manage other simple functions. If a simple trip to the grocery store seems impossible due to stiffness and aches, take the time to remedy your joint pain with a few adjustments in your driving habits.
Exercise Patience: As with any exercise or activity, know your limitations. Warm up your limbs before you get in the car, regardless of the length of the drive. If faced with a long driving trip, take the time for occasional rest stops. Get the blood flowing and keep your joints lubricated so they stay flexible and mobile.
Ergonomics: Not all cars are created equal. Some seats are more comfortable and suitable for people with different types of joint pain. If you find your car seat doesn’t support you well, consider a support device like an inflatable pad or donut seat to help ease lower back, knee, and neck pain. If your pain is centered in the hands and wrists, add a grip cover to the steering wheel to help with steering.
Orthopaedics: Physical therapy and other treatments to reduce and manage joint pain can help you ease back into comfortable driving. Consult with your orthopaedic physician, too, on medications that won’t compromise your ability to pay attention on the road.
Have questions about our minimally invasive treatments for joint pain and fractures? Contact Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists.