View Full Version : New car = new pain??

04-28-2008, 02:13 PM
Can anyone relate to this or am I crazy??

I traded in my little stick-shift, which bothered my back, for an automatic family sedan. I test-drove the car a few times and it felt great with my usual car pillow. Then I got it home last week and after driving it around thought I'd experiment with different pillows. Plus I've been constantly fiddling with the electric seat adjustments (something the old car didn't have) trying to get everything just so.

By yesterday I had a bunch of new and SCARY back and torso pain -- burning and pinching, spasming, stuff I usually don't have. I'm thinking it's all the fiddling with new driving positions I've been doing -- using new muscles in different ways. Does that sound right???

Has this happened to anyone? I'm pretty freaked out. I had to drive today but not far and I've been taking it very easy and walking like the Tin Man. I love the car but what if I can't get comfortable in it?!? That will send my long-suffering husband right over the brink..... :eek:


04-28-2008, 02:48 PM
Chris-- don't panic too much... yet. It may be that you'll just have to slowly adjust to it, with little rides, then drives. Have you been doing very much actual driving before this? Because you use different muscles just sitting than when you are driving. Or it seems so to me.

I know you've had a slow recovery. Have you gotten to do much PT? I just started on core strengthening, precisely because I know when I go back to work it is going to really start hurting and cramping in my back with what I do... Yesterday I ventured forth into realms unvisited for a year (since pre-op) -- and actually mopped the kitchen floor. :eek: I may wait awhile till I visit there again! My back isn't real bad today, but it sure is tight and achy where it hasn't been before. I'll have to ask my therapist how to ease into that! (Or let hubby do it when he feels like it!) Anyway, there are some very gentle exercises you can do on an exercise ball that strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. And if you're chicken like I am, the ball can be situated in the corner of a room, so if you start to lose your balance, you won't "lose it"... I am such an old lady chicken. :D

Let us know how this goes. I'm thinking it will get better if you do it in small increments and let your body adjust slowly. You might have just overdone with it all, but I know it would be fun to play with the gizmoes and spend more time in the car than you had been. Hang in there. And try to enjoy that new car smell. :)

04-28-2008, 07:01 PM
Hi Susie --

Yes, I would definitely benefit from more physical therapy, and I've signed up for warm-water aquatic therapy starting next week. I had intensive PT from August til Decmeber for my weak leg, then nothing but lots of walking since then. I think you're right about building up the core as protection against strain from new activities (and new cars!). I'm sometimes amazed at what triggers pain after this surgery -- things you'd never think of.

05-01-2008, 10:22 AM
Chris my car broke down last week and I was put in 2 different rental cars while it was being repaired. The first car was a little Kia and my back hurt so bad the 2 days I had to drive it. I was then put in a minivan (a huge step down from my convertible, btw) and at least the seats were comfortable. However I had to get in and out of the car differently which caused a different set of pains than the Kia. So glad to have my Sebring back and comfortable seats.

So a long answer to your short question is yes the car can cause new pains. Hope you adjust to your new car soon.

05-01-2008, 02:15 PM
Interesting Alicia!

My scary new pains are better now.

However, as a postscript, I thought I'd mention that I spent three hours waiting for a tow truck yesterday because my new (okay, gently used) car's battery died right after I got out of my aquatherapy class (which felt great, by the way).