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Cars and bad backs

(14 Posts)
MrsSprat Mon 28-Jul-08 14:18:41

DH has been diagnosed with "commuters butt"!

Looks like a change of car may help.

1. What to consider?
2. What to avoid like the plague? (i.e. particularly low slung seaters)

ATM, We have one infant car seat and a buggy to transport regularly. DH plays golf, so roomy boot definitely needed.

We currently have a VW Passat, ace from a size perspective, rubbish for him from a posture perspective.

sazm Mon 28-Jul-08 15:54:37

would a lumber support cushion help?either that or(this may sound silly but..) different models of the same car have different seats,so maybe he could just get another drivers seat for your car?

MrsSprat Mon 28-Jul-08 16:08:47

Tried it. It's the lowness of the seat position combined with long legs that's the problem. I'm really hoping the logical answer is not Chelsea Tractor...

Seeline Mon 28-Jul-08 16:15:09

I drive a Renault Scenic, and also suffer with a bad back. However, driving doesn't affect my back nearly as much since having the Sceneic. The seats are actually quite high, and for myself I find that the ability to position the back into a fairly upright position is ideal. DH complains it's like driving a lorry, but I find it very comfortable. Plenty of room to carry 'stuff' as well.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 28-Jul-08 16:16:44

What part of his back is hurt? If it's lower back, I'd strongly recommend pilates to fix it ... I used to find sitting still for long periods = bad back pain, but pilates has helped a lot.

MrsSprat Mon 28-Jul-08 16:21:56

Lower back and thigh. I'm not sure I'd ever get him doing Pilates, it's taken a good few months to persuade him to see a health prof even.

He had 3 weeks not driving and got better, then wrecked it again, and we've realised everytime we take a long trip ~(think holiday) it gets worse.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 28-Jul-08 16:25:55

Pilates can be done at home - the Lynn Robinson DVDs are good. They're cheap and easy to use, and might help him be more aware of the muscles that are going wrong.

Alternatively, is physio an option? He might even be able to get some suggestions for what to change (or what to look for in a new car), to resolve the problem. I've certainly had help from physios about bike setup, baby-carrying, etc etc. (NB: physios are not alternative medicine - they train in hospitals and use science. In case this helps.)

NotQuiteCockney Mon 28-Jul-08 16:26:59

Oh, and in the interim, one thing that might help would be changing settings mid-journey. Because almost any position gets uncomfortable after a while, and it might be the staying still that's the problem, rather than the car per se. So if the seat height or back angle or whatever can be adjusted easily in transit (ok, maybe at a light, not on the motorway!) that might help.

MrsSprat Mon 28-Jul-08 16:39:47

All good advice, the main hurdle has been encouraging him to do something at all, he's a bit of a cynic with this kind of thing. We need to think about changing the car anyway, and don't want to get it wrong.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 28-Jul-08 16:42:05

Maybe get him to the physio on the grounds that they will be able to help him work out what to do?

Private physio is about £50 in London, worth it if it means you get the right car!

bettybeetroot Mon 28-Jul-08 17:10:16

MrsSprat the most comfy car i have driven is a discovery 3. probably because of the higher/upright position. ime the higher the seat the better. we had a c-max once also that was comfy. if your dh drives a lot it is worth getting the right car as well as physio.

bran Mon 28-Jul-08 17:15:37

I find my BMW 3-series very comfortable and supportive, and the seat is very adjustable. I'm not particularly tall though and although I do long journeys occasionally I don't do many hours in the car on a day to day basis.

bran Mon 28-Jul-08 17:22:39

I should also say that with previous cars I used to walk as though I needed a zimmer frame after a journey of 3 hours or so, but I haven't had any back spasms with this car. Also my car is automatic which I think is kinder to my back in town traffic.

milge Mon 28-Jul-08 20:35:20

I am afraid you are going to have to drive a swedish car. Saab and Volvo have great seats, based on airline pilots, and have most newer models generally have adjustable lumbar support, which is great. Well, my 2004 model does.
Avoid Hondas - can't drive dh's for long journeys because it gives me chronic back ache.

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