How to Take Leg & Back Pain Out of Driving

Hint: It’s all in the seats.

byThe Foundry at Time Inc.| PUBLISHED Jun 13, 2016 9:08 PM
How to Take Leg & Back Pain Out of Driving

Driving shouldn’t be a pain. Yet drivers and passengers sometimes suffer soreness and numbness in their legs, back, and neck—and their seats could be the likely culprit. “The seat you use—and your posture while sitting in it—can have an effect on your long-term health and well-being,” says Dr. Eric Plasker, a chiropractor and author of The 100 Year Lifestyle. With seven years of Volvo engineering behind their design, the stylish front seats in the new S90 luxury sedan provide not only a remedy for these common aches and pains but also a secure and comfortable ride.

• Lower Back Pain

You can gauge back discomfort along a curve—the lumbar curve. “The lower back is meant to curve at a 50- to 60-degree angle,” Plasker says. “This correctly places the force of your weight on the back of the vertebrae, not on the discs.” If your seat is positioned too upright, the discs in your lower back bear the brunt of your weight. That causes lower back pain, a common driver complaint. The power lumbar system in the Volvo S90’s comfort front-bucket seats enables the driver and front passenger to take the stress off the lower back by providing support where they need it most.

• Leg Numbness

“If you’re sitting too far forward, the edge of the seat will hit the middle-back of your thigh, instead of closer to the knee,” Plasker says. “That can cut off circulation and put pressure on the nerve, causing tingling and numbness in the leg.” Fine-tune your position in the S90’s comfort front-bucket seats by using the power leg extensions—and then lock it in with the memory controls. You can even view your seat adjustments on the 9-inch Sensus Touchscreen.

• Neck and Shoulder Tingling

“If the seat belt falls at the wrong spot along certain pressure points, it can cause tingling and numbness in your neck and shoulders,” Plasker says. You can easily remedy this by adjusting not just your seat belt but also your seat position and height. The S90’s 10-way power seat controls let you change the angle and height of your seat, which in turn helps the seat belt cross over your shoulder at the proper position.

• Muscle Fatigue

Even though you’re riding, not walking, long road trips definitely seem to tire out your legs. “Sitting too long can cause nerve pressure, pain, and muscle fatigue that extends from your lower back to your legs and even your feet,” Plasker says. Passengers in the S90 will be able to fight this due to the extra room to stretch their muscles—Volvo’s engineers have slimmed down by one-third the backrests of the S90’s front seats, providing your backseat passengers with more space. Seat heaters in both the front and back seats can also help soothe fatigued muscles.