Enter and Exit Your Vehicle with Less Pain
Entering and exiting your vehicle is a potential risky activity for low back pain sufferers. Follow these tips to limit problems:
- To enter the vehicle, open the door and stand with your back to the seat, legs close to the side of the vehicle. For larger vehicles, you may wish to begin by standing on the running board. Place your hands on the door and doorframe to keep your movements slow and controlled then slowly lower your body into the vehicle.
- Tuck your head into the vehicle. Keep your knees close to each other, as though they have been taped together, brace your abdomen as though you are about to be punched in the stomach and pivot your body as a whole without twisting or bending at the waist. You may grasp the steering wheel with your right hand to help you pivot.
- Use a lumbar roll or other support to help maintain good posture. Position the roll slightly above your belt to support the “small of your back”. Adjust your seat so that your knees are slightly lower than your hips. Try to avoid prolonged car rides- take frequent breaks.
- Before exiting, create adequate space by pushing your vehicle seat back as far as possible and move the steering wheel up and out of the way. To exit, first scoot slightly to the door side edge of your seat, then keep your knees together and pivot with the same cautions that you used to enter the vehicle. When your feet are shoulder width apart and firmly on the ground or running board, grasp the door and doorframe, lean forward, but be sure not to bend your back, as you tighten your abdominal muscles. Slowly thrust your hips forward to stand up.