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Car models, seats, adaptive driving?

PonytailPPonytail Ottawa, CanadaPosts: 3
I'm a 44 year old woman with post-op scoliosis. My spine was fused at age 14. I generally manage pretty well, but I have some questions about driving and cars, and was wondering about what other spine patients might suggest.

I learned to drive when I was younger, and still renew my license... but I've never actually owned a car. (I got used to taking the bus, it's convenient.) I do consider getting a car once in awhile, but I have a big problem with uncomfortable seating, and the fact that this seriously interferes with my ability to drive.  

I guess it's the length/location of my fusion that causes the problem. Bucket seats, which have become the norm in cars now, are very difficult for me to sit in for any length of time, even as a passenger. Driving is a real difficulty--if I sit fully back into the seat, those huge headrests just force my head downward so that I'm looking directly into my lap. I can't roll my back or shoulders, I have no flexibility that way.

To see straight ahead towards the road, I have to lean forward away from the seat a couple of inches so that my head and neck are straight with my spine. This obviously doesn't work for driving. Not safe, not comfortable. Reclining the seat doesn't work for me either.

So... I've looked up information on adaptive driving and modified seats. A swivel seat might work for me. Not sure how much they cost to install, but online prices are around $5000 from what I've seen, and car manufacturers often include a limited rebate to offset the expense. I've noticed, though, that online photos show many of these adaptive swivel seats are also now bucket seats, with the huge head rests and curvy back rests!

Can anyone else relate to this situation? Has anyone else gone with an adaptive set up for their car? Is there a car model maybe that works for you and your back issues? Any thoughts?


  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 745
    I had a Camaro after my lumbar microD. It was hard to get in and out of those low bucket seats. Not the most comfortable to ride in also. I now have a full size car with padded seats with adjustable lumbar support. I prefer the large car. 
  • hello, ponytail!

    5000 bucks...wow!  sure wish someone could deem that medically necessary for you, and you could get it through insurance!! 

    my ford escape (2003) is actually pretty comfortable--not difficult to get in/out of, and the seats are very adjustable with lumbar support/tilt features.  one simple adjustment i made was to turn the removable headrest backwards, as it helped to reduce the feeling like your head is being pushed forward.  definitely made for smoother alignment of my spinal column...

    i'd like to welcome you to spine-health!  please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started!

    welcome to spine-health

    ps:  jimandjr--oh my goodness...i would've needed a giant shoehorn to get in/out of a "low rider"!!!!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,584
    Kimmy, I had to laugh at your statement about the "low rider"    I had a car, given to me by my father, a 1981 Toyota Celica. It was low to the ground.  I never knew how I could get in/out of the care.  My children and my brother's children always called the car the "Low Rider"

    When I was driving it it was fine. but I would feel like I was on the ground when any car passed me by
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • All my friends drive a low rider....Glad to give you a smile, Ron!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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