How can you adjust your seat to help?
• You can help your back by making sure that your driving
position is as comfortable as possible, with all driving
controls and switches within easy reach.
• Bring your seat forward so you can comfortably depress
the clutch without over stretching. If your vehicle
is an automatic, use the accelerator pedal location as a
guide for your seat position.
• Adjust the seat so that your hips and knees are comfortably
• Sit in an upright posture, do not hunch over the steering
wheel or slouch in the seat. Adjust the angle of the backrest
so that your arms are comfortably positioned on
• the steering wheel. Your arms and shoulders should
feel relaxed and you should have a clear view of the
• If your vehicle has any lumbar support, adjust this to
provide a gentle pressure against the lowest part of
your back. If your seat lacks support, you may find it
beneficial to use a lumbar roll or back support.
• Adjust your mirrors correctly - making full use of all
your mirrors will minimise the need for you to twist
around in the seat.
Cervical Spondylosis Cervical Spondylosis is a general
term for any degenerative changes in the upper spine.
Cervical spondylosis is not really a diagnosis, but a
reference to the changes that occur, often with age,
to the discs and vertebrae of the neck.
The inter vertebral discs act as a springy cushion. They
are made of an outer casing, called the annulus fibrosus
and an inner softer jelly-like' substance, the nucleus. The
nucleus shrinks with age and becomes tougher and more
fibrous. The bony surfaces above and below the disc,
called the vertebral end plates, thicken and spread so
that a rim of bone develops around the edge of the disc.
Degenerative changes can also affect the facet joints that
lie behind and on either side of the vertebral canal. The
changes in these joints are also known as osteo-arthritis.
Spondylosis and osteo-arthritis, usually occur together.
Extra bony growths on the vertebrae, called osteophytes
may also be present and can press on the nerve roots
causing pain and irritation.
What can you do?
If you have a sudden (acute) attack, ice packs, painkillers,
gentle exercise and relaxation are important to try
and switch off the pain. If symptoms persist, then an assessment
by your GP or a physical therapist
(physiotherapist, magnetic therapist, chiropractor or osteopath)
may be necessary. This will help determine the
cause of your pain and possible treatments for it.
Self care and life-style changes are also of great importance.
Good posture whilst standing, sitting, working at a
computer, driving and sleeping is essential, as these are
all potential high risk areas for necks. Pain in the neck
area usually creates a great deal of tension in the rest of
the body, particularly around the shoulders, middle back
and head so training yourself to relax might be helpful.
You may find that listening to some soothing music or a
relaxation tape is useful. Neck strengthening exercises
can also alleviate the pain of muscles that are in spasm,
but it is important to get good advice from one of the
therapists mentioned above or a qualified exercise practitioner.
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