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Driving a car

Mar 01, 2015 5:13 PM

Due to sciatic/back pain I am limited on how far I can drive a car--within a 10 minute range. I have to lay down in the back seat whenever I travel. I had surgery last June. I keep hoping symptoms will get better--they don't. Have any of you had problems with driving or even sitting up in a car? Were you able to get your freedom back? What did you do?

Mar 01, 2015 6:36 PM

Hi there! I bought an orthopedic seat thingy to use on top of the car seat, it supports the whole back. And I bought a little neck pillow for the car. They help but after a certain amount of sitting my upper back actually starts hurting/burning so I keep a rolled up towel or sweater and place up and down my back wherever feels good. I got the back support and neck pillow from Amazon. It had a lot of good reviews and paid a little under $100 but it has been worth it. My lower back surgery was 3 yrs ago and I've had it that long. The neck one was under $20. I also keep a pillow and lay down in the rear seat whenever I need a stretch during a drive and or while doing errands.

Mar 01, 2015 6:38 PM

I think it took me more than a year to tolerate sitting longer than 15 minutes but I still have trouble at times. I think that people with other health problems might heal slower than the other healthier folks.

Mar 01, 2015 7:11 PM

I sympathize with you and I have to tell you I am suffering with the same issues as you but I have been this way since 2009. I have not been able to travel more that a short distance on my own since I had the operation which is considered to be a and classified by the surgeons as a successful operation.

If I have to travel long distance, I have to get someone else to drive my van while I lay in the back on the floor.

It sucks and I know how bad the sciatic pain can be that stops you from being free. I don't have any solutions to offer you as I too have been in search for years now to find the cure for my pain. Surgeons shrug their shoulders saying they can't see whats wrong and that they can't offer me a surgical relief. Other doctors such as pain management specialists and general practitioners keep prescribing me pain meds that are at best, can only provide mediocre at dealing pain relief of the day to day regular pain and don't touch the extreme burning electrical pains in the legs and feet caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve. My back is now a major source of pain that doesn't allow me to lay in comfort for more than just a few moments at a time before I need to roll over and find relief from a different position. This means I don't sleep, and that is now effecting my brain function where my memory recall is poor and absorption is nearly impossible now prohibiting me from learning anything new.

Good luck, and if you find anything that works, please make sure you post what that is.

Mar 01, 2015 7:15 PM

I do better driving than just riding, I seem to have more control holding onto the steering wheel. It maybe just in my mind .lol,what kills me is getting in and out we have a pickup and I am short I b have to have rails so I can get in easier. But by the end of pay day I am hurting so bad my neck, back,and hips I am stiff and can barely get the steps in house. The next day or two I'm usually in the bed. If we go to Houston which is about 120 miles or Tyler who h is about 80 miles from the house I'm in the same shape as when I pay bills or buy groceries.

Mar 01, 2015 8:12 PM

Hi nozland, I have never had back surgery but I have a long history of back problems. In the past 3-4 years I can't tolerate being in a car long. Most of my doctors are over 30 minutes one way. By the time I arrive I'm very stiff and have sciatic pain.

I have a Nissan Sentra. At many times over the past few years I've driven my Dad's Ford F250 pickup and step mom's Lincoln Continental. I've also ridden in my sisters SUV. I have noticed that its difficult to pull myself up into and step down from the truck although it rides really well. The Lincoln is the smoothest ride but it sits just a bit low for getting in & out of. My Sentra is the absolute worst ride and most difficult to get in/out of. The SUV sit at just the right level to slide in & out of the seat without being too low or too high, and it rides pretty good. I tell you this because I've realized that vehicle comfort is a necessity for those in pain. I plan to trade my car in as soon as I can.

If you can, go car shopping to at least try out different vehicles and see if yours might be like mine, at the bottom of the totem pole of comfort!

Lol...just realized this sounds like the Goldilocks story!

Mar 01, 2015 8:21 PM

Nozland, yes I can now say that I completely understand where you are coming from. Riding in a car for more then about 30 minutes becomes uncomfortable. More then 1 hour, intolerable. I have not had any further treatment yet but I will get a better idea on the 11th. You know for work, I have to ride in a 15 passanger van for almost 1 1/2 hours each way but I have to take meds before I can even do that. This really sucks.

Mar 01, 2015 9:14 PM

I have had 2 back surgeries. I cannot ride in a car or vehicle unless it's my 2007 Trail Blazer SS it has the most comfortable power seat with heated top and bottom also it has bigger wheels and a much better suspension than a stock trail blazer. Plus with the 424hp engine if my back hurts I kick up the rpms and get home so I can lay on my memory foam mattress. I also highly recommend a seat cushion called BackJoy they are not miraculous but they have doubled to tripled my ability to drive without contemplating vehicular manslaughter or running my suv into a pole or tree to end the seemingly endless chronic pain. Hurt my back while serving in Baghdad Iraq in 2003-2004 my biggest mistake was letting the VA health care providers try to fix me. Instead they gave me lots of scared tissue and permanent nerve damage. Been rockin handicapped tags since I was 23 years old.

Mar 01, 2015 9:18 PM

Try www.BackJoy.com for the seat covers they are or were only $40 when I bought mine. I bought mine years ago now they come with thicker padding and in many colors. They are built to last mine are in exactly the same condition that I bought them in and I used the crap out of mine. Still good after 4 years of daily used both in and out of multiple vehicles and in home use.

Mar 02, 2015 10:41 AM

Thanks for the leads on places to look fo back support/cushions to help with drive. The back joy.com sells through target so I'm going to check it out and products on Amazon. Getting comfortable is the hardest thing I'm up against. Sitting, standing, laying down and walking! It's an adjustment to not be able to drive. I'm hopeful to find something to see if I can drive a little further.

It's said so many of us are hurting and dealing with so much. My wish to everyone is to have a better Monday.

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