I have found that driving exacerbates my RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome. It is pretty logical as driving involves use of the hands. I have tried to minimize my driving by getting others to drive, walking, or taking public transportation. Try not standing and holding on while on the bus or subway as this will cause the same problems.
If you HAVE TO drive, drive as little as possible and follow some tips to minimize carpal tunnel syndrome:
1) I started using Ironman Elite cycling gloves because of their thick padding for cycling but found they worked well when I drove. Also newer Ironman Elite T.2 gloves also work. They make it easier to grip the steering wheel. I have also tried installing a big furry steering wheel padded cover.
2) If you drive a stick shift car, consider trading in for an automatic. We have heard of a guy selling his Porsche due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Buy a vehicle with ‘lighter’ steering and test it before buying.
3) Try to hold the steering wheel in an ergonomic fashion. Hold the wheel at a “5 o’clock” and “7 o’clock” position, so that you can rest your arms on your legs and reduce the amount of grip needed. Verify with local authorities that this is legal to do.
4) Carry and ice packs in an ice cooler in the trunk, and use them during breaks in your driving or when needed.
5) Try to take driving routes that minimize the amount of turning. Highway driving is usually preferred to driving around town.
6) My problems came with poor posture, thoracic outlet syndrome, weak back muscles and pectoralis minor.
- Adjusting my seat so it was almost like a recliner helped prevent stooping over and rounding of my shoulders.
- Have your shoulders lean back in your seat and hold your head level, bolstered by the headrest as you drive.
- Allow the seat to support your weight by angling it to support the weight of your thighs.
- I use an accessory pillow to increase the height of my seat. Adjust your mirrors after you have customized your seat.
Also consider doing Icing for your carpal tunnel syndrome
This site has additional tips on driving when you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or wrist pain.