- by Daniel
10 Useful Gift Ideas To Help Drivers Steer Clear Of A Sore Back
Back pain behind the wheel can be an extremely common occurrence for drivers so why not get them a little something to help?
Driving should be a pleasant experience that gives you freedom and independence by opening up your world and saving you both time and energy.
At least that's what the car commercials would have you believe anyway!
However, it's all too often ruined by heavy traffic, idiots on the road, road rage maniacs, and a struggle to find a parking spot when you need one.
And another thing that can ruin your driving experience is back pain.
Because unfortunately this is an extremely common complaint among drivers that have to spend more than a couple of hours per day behind the wheel.
And it happens due to a combination of the following reasons:
In fact studies have found that prolonged sitting and whole body vibrations were two of the biggest causes of developing lower back pain.
And the bigger the vehicle the worse these vibrations are.
Which means if you have to drive a truck, a bus, or a HGV for a living then you are most at risk.
So you can see how dangerous driving can be for the health of your back.
However, there are ways you can avoid this pain such as getting your sitting posture right, setting up your vehicle correctly, and keeping your body flexible and strong.
And the following list of gift ideas can all help too.
So let's start with a gift that can help your loved one to maintain a healthy posture behind the wheel which is a lumbar support cushion.
A Lumbar Support Cushion
Many car seats are severely lacking when it comes to lumbar support or ergonomic features and this can force you to sit in an awkward position as you drive.
Which is bad news as this can mean your back flattens against the seat and you end up sitting with your spine in a 'C' shaped curve.
And this puts pressure and strain onto your whole body (especially your lower back) leading to plenty of aches and pains after a long drive.
So one way to fix this problem is by using a lumbar support cushion.
As placing one of these pillows between your lower back and the back of the car seat will naturally encourage you to sit with a healthier 'S' shaped curve in your spine instead.
And this will go a long way in keeping you nicely balanced and spreading the pressure evenly across your whole body instead.
Which will take the strain off your lower back and help you to stay more healthy behind the wheel.
So, the Coop Home Goods Lumbar Support Cushion is great gift for drivers and is perfect for taking on car journeys.
As it has an adjustable strap to hold it in place and is made from a ventilated bamboo charcoal memory foam that is super comfortable, supportive, and cool.
While the mesh material is breathable so you won't get a hot and sweaty lower back while using it.
A Cushion To Sit On
Another pillow that can improve on a regular car seat is a coccyx cushion.
As some car seats can be a bit hard and unforgiving which can make your backside go a bit numb after a while.
And having tight and numb glutes can be a cause of sciatic pain as this is where your sciatic nerve is located.
So if you want to avoid sciatic pain behind the wheel sitting on a coccyx cushion can help.
As this will add a bit of extra padding to prevent a numb backside while also relieving pressure on your tailbone.
Plus it'll make your car seat feel a whole lot nicer to sit in too.
So one of these pillows makes a great gift for anyone with sciatic pain from driving and the Coop Home Goods seat cushion is my top choice.
As this one is made from a ventilated bamboo charcoal memory foam, meaning it won't overheat and you won't get a hot and sweaty butt while sitting on it.
And the memory foam is great for providing cushioning comfort to a hard car seat which helps to absorb any shocks from the road while driving too.
A Heated Car Seat Cover
Keeping your back muscles warm can be a great way of avoiding the pain and stiffness that can come from driving.
And one way you can do this is with a heated car seat.
As the constant flow of warming heat you get from sitting in one off these seats helps your body to relax and release any tension that has built up.
While also increasing circulation which helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles to keep them healthy.
And the sensation of heat can also distract your brain away from your pain, blocking pain signals and limiting their power and hold over you.
So having this option will really help you especially on days when your back is feeling particularly sore and stiff.
And if you're lucky then your car may already have a built in feature to warm up the car seats.
However, if that's not the case then you'll have to search out your own seat heating options instead.
And a great choice for this that works well as a gift is the Kingleting Heated Car Seat Cover.
This one is good as it has a universal fit meaning it's suitable for most car seats and comes with easy clips to hold it in place.
And by simply plugging it in your 12V electric cigarette lighter port it'll heat up within a minute.
It's also easy to get it to the right temperature for you as you can adjust this between 30 and 60 degrees in 3 degree increments.
And with the auto switch off timers you can stay safe while using it too.
So all in all it's an ideal choice to keep your back muscles and butt warm, happy and pain-free on a long drive.
A Pack Of Heat Wraps
Another way to get more targeted heat for back pain relief when driving is by using heat wraps.
These are pads that you attach to your area of pain (such as your lower back) and they heat that area for a certain length of time.
And while this heat is only temporary it will help to keep your muscles relaxed and prevent any stiffness or cramps from developing.
This warmth also feels nice and comforting which can help to distract your mind away from the pain.
So a pack of heat wraps such as the Thermacare Heat Wraps makes a nice little gift for someone.
As they are designed to be worn on the move which is great when you are driving around and getting in and out of your car constantly.
And they are also thin enough to be worn under your clothes without feeling uncomfortable.
So they're perfect for some on the spot pain relief when you need it.
A Topical Pain Relief Cream Or Gel
If you prefer cooling pain relief rather than heat then an alternative option would be to use a topical cream or gel.
As you can apply these creams directly to your area of pain and they will penetrate deep into your aching muscles.
And the cooling sensation you get from doing this relieves pain by stimulating the nerve receptors on your skin.
Which overrides and blocks the pain signals that were previously being sent to your brain.
Taking away their power and lowering your pain levels in the process.
So a nice gift for a driver to have at hand in the car for some instant pain relief is the Biofreeze Roll On Pain Relieving Gel.
As this gel contains cooling menthol which soothes and relaxes your tired and aching muscles.
And it has a roll-on applicator which makes it super clean and easy to use in the car too.
A Satellite Radio
One surprising way of getting pain relief when driving is by distracting yourself away from it.
Because by becoming absorbed in something else instead you can really lower the intensity of your pain.
This works because the brain has a limited capacity to take in all the signals from the outside world.
So it gives priority to certain signals with pain usually being at the top of the list as it's seen as a sign of immediate danger.
However, by consciously turning your attention elsewhere you can override these pain signals that are being sent to your brain and take away their power.
As your brain doesn't have the space to listen to them.
So a gift that can distract someone away from their back pain while driving can be a great idea.
Now you obviously don't want to distract them too much as they need to keep their eyes and attention on the road.
But something like the SiriusXM Onyx Plus Satellite Radio is ideal.
As it gives them something to listen to and focus on in the background while also being able to stay safe behind the wheel.
And it comes with over 130 channels to choose from so you can listen to music, news, sports, and talk radio to keep you entertained.
Which makes it the perfect companion on long drives and a far better alternative than silence and back pain!
A Water Bottle
Keeping yourself well hydrated is really important for staying healthy and free from back pain.
The reason for this is that your spinal discs are made mostly from water and they lose some of this water throughout the day.
So to be able to stay healthy they need to replenish and restore themselves from the water you take it.
Otherwise they can weaken and shrink which means your back will receive less support and protection.
And this is especially important when driving as your discs are already compressed and under pressure from the vibrations from your vehicle.
So a nice gift to get a driver is a water bottle that they can keep in the car so they always have a cold drink on hand to keep them hydrated.
And a great choice for that is the Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle.
As this one keeps your drinks cold for up to 24 hours which is perfect for even the longest of drives.
And you can also use it to keep drinks warm if you fancy some tea, coffee or soup instead.
So it's a thoughtful gift that people will get a lot of use from.
And drinking all that water has the added benefit of needing to stop for a toilet break more often.
Meaning they'll get more chances to get out of the car and have a little stretch to release any tension that has been building up.
An Ice Pack
After a long day of driving your back can feel extremely sore, stiff and painful.
And sometimes this can be due to inflammation in your back that has been caused by the prolonged sitting, compressed discs and constant vibrations your body has been exposed to.
So when this is the case a good way to heal and recover is by using an ice pack.
As applying ice to painful areas reduces swelling and inflammation and helps to prevent any lasting tissue damage.
While the satisfying cold sensation from the ice also numbs the pain and helps you to relax and switch off.
So an set of ice packs like these ones from iReliev make for a really cool (pardon the pun) choice of gift for drivers.
As they come in a variety of sizes including a large pack which is big enough to cover a large area of your back.
And they stay ice cold for 30 minutes when removed from the freezer.
Plus they're pliable, meaning you can mold them to fit to the exact shape of your body so you feel the most benefit from the cold.
So, these ice packs can be a great gift to help a driver recover from the aches and pains of a long day behind the wheel.
A Foam Roller
Another way to get your tired and aching muscles to relax and release after a long day of driving is by using a foam roller.
As this can ease any muscle tension and pain that has built up.
And this will really help to stop your back from feeling stiff and sore after driving.
Foam rollers work by using the force of gravity, your body weight and the nodules on the roller to give your muscles a deep massage.
So you simply need to lay your body down over the roller, roll yourself up and down over the pain area, and allow gravity to do the rest.
As this will stimulate your tight muscles and get them to relax and release.
And it will also increase circulation which helps to deliver the oxygen and nutrients that your muscles need to heal and recover.
So using one of these is a great way of recovering after a drive and keeping your back muscles loose and free from pain.
And the ideal choice to give as a gift is the TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller.
As this one is firmer than most and has a textured design that gets deep into your stiff muscles to help them to release.
It's also the foam roller most commonly recommended and used by physical therapists and professional athletes so you know you're getting top quality.
Everything They Need To Practice Yoga
Because staying flexible and loose helps your body to stay nicely balanced which takes the pressure and strain off your lower back in particular.
While your deep lying core muscles work to provide good support, stability and protection for your spine.
So doing both of these things will help your body to withstand the pressures that the long hours of sitting and the vibrations of the vehicle place on it.
As these activities work to lengthen and strengthen the muscles in your hamstrings, glutes and hips which lowers the burden placed on your lower back.
And they are also great for strengthening your core muscles to give your back better support behind the wheel.
So a gift of the yoga home studio bundle by Manduka is a great idea for anyone that suffers from persistent back pain when driving.
As this contains a top class mat and cleaner, 2 cork yoga blocks, and a yoga strap to get them started.
And this could also help a loved one to get into good exercise habits that help them for years to come.
Which is a pretty cool gift to give.
Driving shouldn't be a painful experience but for many people that's exactly what it is.
So if you have a friend or loved one who complains of back pain behind the wheel why not get them something to help?
As the gift ideas I've given you here will all go some way to making the whole driving experience more enjoyable for them.
And a much less painful one to boot.