Congratulations, everybody! We’ve almost made it through the week. Just one more tiny little day to go.
While you ponder how to make time go faster..
I’m going to tell you a bit about how driving hurts your hips and wrists, then explain habits that can help keep you out of the danger zone.
I first started to really pay attention to my hips and wrists when driving when I was in massage school. All my focus was on proper alignment and body mechanics. I wanted to figure out what was wrong and fix it.
I started noticing wrist pain and popping sounds. I was feeling my knee crack a little when I’d drive with it bent. And my lower back often felt off on one side, but fine on the other.
Below are a few of the things I noticed, and how I helped to correct them.
– leaning forward
Not only does this bug your hips and lower back, this bothers your entire spine – up to your neck.
– sitting on your wallet (guys!)
This is becoming less of a problem. I think because so many of us are aware of the negative impact sitting on a wallet has for our body mechanics. But the problem does still exist.
– anything that causes one hip to be above, behind, or in front of the other
Uneven hips can be caused from how we spend a prolonged time sitting. If you’re not paying attention to keeping level hips while sitting, this could lead to things like numbness and tingling, a burning sensation, and back pain.
What can help?
+ tucking your hips (clearly I’ve been at Pure Barre)
Many people don’t realize that our overly tight muscles have an impact on our musculature. If we “tuck” or roll our hips under, we protect our lower back area and our hips.
+ sitting back in your seat
Remember how leaning forward is a problem? Try sitting back into the chair. It’s there for you.
+ keeping knees above hips
One of the chiropractors I work with utters this phrase at least 10 times a day. This is so important – not only for sitting in the car, but also sitting at your desk.
Whenever your wrists are bent, it’s a bad thing. This can cause muscles to be overly tight and the opposing ones to be overly stretched. The body needs balance.
– tight grip on the wheel
More than likely, if you’re gripping the wheel tightly, you’re also bringing your shoulders up to your ears. It’s important to be mindful of any way your body is physically displaying emotions – such as fear, anxiety, or road rage.
What can help?
+ alternating dominant guiding hand
If you alternate which hand is the dominant one when driving, this will help give your hands a necessary rest time.
+ keeping proper alignment
In massage therapy school, one of the most important pieces of advice we were given was to keep everything in as straight a line as possible. In this example of keeping wrists in alignment while driving, this particularly applies to the thumb and wrist area. Think of always wanting a straight line from the tip of your thumb to your forearm. This will help to not bend the wrist so much.
+ deep breathing
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.. Deep breaths are so important to our mind/body connection. When you’re driving and you feel a little road rage-y, take a few deep breaths in and slowly exhale. This will calm your body and help your mind stay more alert.
Until next time, enjoy these pics from the road trip last weekend that inspired this post!