OTCATS: Occupational Therapy Critically Appraised Topics
Introduction Topics Project Summary EBP Links Media Releases

Does modified vehicle seating (suspension seats/lumbar support) reduce low back pain for long distance drivers or drivers operating vehicles over rough terrain?

Prepared by:

Deirdre Hill


October 2002

Review Date:

October 2004

Clinical Question:

What is the evidence that modified vehicle seating (suspension seats/lumbar support) reduces low back pain for workers operating vehicles over rough terrain.

Clinical Scenario:

Clients with back pain often complain of increased discomfort when driving, particularly when driving long distances over rough terrain. Epidemiological studies identify driving as a cause of low back pain due to vibration and postural factors. Seating modifications such as expensive air or sprung suspension seats, or simple measures such as lumbar supports may be prescribed. Does either of these interventions reduce symptoms of back pain when driving, and is one more effective than the other?

Clinical Bottom Line:

Although all articles gave recommendations regarding seating, there is no higher level evidence that seating modifications reduce back pain when driving.

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Funded by the Motor Accidents Authority of NSW
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