Breaking back!

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The holidays are a time to party harder than we had all year 'round, but this time, it was a little different for me.

Not in a horrific sense, mind you. I was pretty comfortably cocooned in my own bed the entire time, staying out of any sort of trouble, but then again, I missed out on pretty much all bibulous activity this season, and I'm a little bitter about that.

Why, you ask? A strained back. Driving home one day last week, I felt a strange feeling in my back that prevented me from moving my arms and torso. A week of bed rest later, I'm up and running again, but I'm now hell bent on making sure I don't ever go out of commission for that long ever again, primarily because I was so bored during this stint that I was actually looking forward to my long, traffic-filled commute this morning!

How do I go about getting ahead of back pain, you ask? Well, a major part of my day involves sitting around, either behind the wheel of a car or behind a desk. And switching between many different cars and my impatience to get the driving position just right has left me with a very unhappy vertebral column. So by improving my posture and taking that extra few minutes at the start of a drive, I'm going to try and keep my back happy.

Statring with the driving position in the car, there are a few simple things I could do that will work out for me in the long run. Instead of a laid-back stance, a slight forward lean with all the controls well within reach should take care of most of the stress my back experiences, another is to keep my feet happy as well. Keep them extended enough to not cramp up but not so much that I don't have enough leverage to apply the required force on the pedals. Apart from that, taking a short break every couple of hours or so (you won't believe how long the commute is!) will also help out, methinks.

If these small tweaks don't make you too comfortable behind the wheel, there's a few products like lumbar support pillows and back braces that will keep you chugging along, but be very careful while positioning these as one mistake could send you back for a short stint on the bed pretty soon. If nothing else, there's always some good 'ole rest to bring you back to normal again.

For now, I'm a pretty happy camper, but I have this slight feeling that my back is plotting its revenge again. I just hope it doesn't decide to act up just when someone hands me the keys to an exotic car!