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Driving with Full Back Pockets: A Risk to Your Spine Health

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Driving with Full Back Pockets: A Risk to Your Spine Health

Driving with items in your back pockets could be putting your spine at risk

Nowadays, driving has become integrated into our routines until it becomes second nature. However, a seemingly minor detail, such as driving with full back pockets, could be putting the health of our spine at risk without us even noticing.

Carrying items such as a wallet, mobile phone or any other large item in your back pocket while driving can cause serious back problems in the long term.

“Drivers may not realize that the simple action of driving with items in their back pockets can have real implications for their back health,” explained Dominic Wyatt, a driving expert with the International Drivers Association. This lack of awareness about bad driving habits is alarming.

The dilemma of full back pockets

Having your wallet or any other bulky object in one of your back pockets while driving throws your pelvis and spine out of alignment. This situation changes the natural posture and creates unnecessary stress on the joints, muscles and spinal discs.

If driving extends for long periods, the problem worsens, although even short 15-minute trips can begin to have a negative impact on the back.

The asymmetry caused by this practice may not be immediately evident, but eventually, this imbalance can cause strain on the muscles of the lower back and other spinal structures.

Back pocket syndrome

How is it related to pain?

Orthopedic reports warn of “wallet sciatica” or “back pocket syndrome,” where constant pressure on the piriformis muscle can irritate the sciatic nerve, causing pain that spreads down the leg, often confused with sciatica. Additionally, this pressure aggravates lower back pain by throwing the lumbar spine out of alignment.

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According to data from the World Health Organization, low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting approximately 619 million people at some point in their lives. Although not all of these cases are due to driving, maintaining correct posture and proper spinal alignment is crucial to preventing these problems.

Wyatt remarked: “Unfortunately, what seems convenient quickly becomes a health risk. “Back problems are among the most common problems we see in the driving community.”

Tips to avoid back problems when driving

Luckily, there are simple steps to avoid these chiropractic driving-related problems:
Empty your back pockets before driving.
Use lumbar supports to maintain the natural curvature of your back.
Store your wallet, keys, and other essentials in a small bag instead of your pockets.
Adjust the seat so that your knees are at the same level or slightly lower than your hips.
Perform back exercises and stretches regularly, especially if you drive for long periods.

Take control of your health

Wyatt stresses the importance of taking these preventive measures: “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of maintaining a healthy driving posture. Moving your wallet to your front pocket or, better yet, moving it away from the seating area can make a big difference in the health of your back. “It’s a simple change, but it can prevent drivers from serious back problems in the future.”

So, act wisely and heed the advice of experts. Don’t forget that you’re not just driving your car; you are also in charge of your well-being.

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