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Old 06-29-2009, 12:15 PM   #1
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Back pain driving Boxster

I've had mild back pain on and off for years. It's never been a big deal, though painful. Usually, I'd strain my back or wake up sore. It would be sore for a few days, then go away. If I did back strengthening exercises, it would never bother me.

Then I bought my Boxster. During test drives it seemed perfectly comfortable. However, once I brought it home and started driving it more I've noticed that if I drive it more than about 15 minutes, I get pain in my lower back on the left side. I thought it was because I was slouching so I'd fit better (I'm 6'4"). So I put in a Recaro SPG XL seat. Now I can sit as straight up as I possibly can and still have a bit of room. The Recaro seat is much better than the stock seat. I can find positions that do not cause pain, but not always. I just had about a month off from work during which I never drove the Boxster more than 5 minutes at a time. It was great. My back didn't bother me the entire time. The last two weeks I've been working. That first day back I drove to work (30 minutes) and was sore for the rest of the day. Being a pilot, I sit all day at work and those seats don't bother me at all.

I can't figure out what causes it. I have noticed that the pedals in the Boxster are very far over to the right. It feels odd to me. It's like I have to bend my knees to the right from their natural position. I'm thinking that perhaps that makes me sit twisted slightly in the seat. I also thought that perhaps it was because the seat is so close to the floor that my legs are almost parallel to the floor. This makes the angle between my upper-legs and torso more accute than say in an airplane or my wife's truck. However, last week I sat in my Pontiac Firehawk which has almost the exact same seating position and it was very comfortable even after 20 minutes.

I'm wondering if anybody else have found that their Boxster causes back pain. If so, have you found a solution? Yesterday I finally told my wife that I think I might have to sell the car if I cannot find a solution.

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Old 06-29-2009, 12:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Yi
I've had mild back pain on and off for years. It's never been a big deal, though painful. Usually, I'd strain my back or wake up sore. It would be sore for a few days, then go away. If I did back strengthening exercises, it would never bother me.

Then I bought my Boxster. During test drives it seemed perfectly comfortable. However, once I brought it home and started driving it more I've noticed that if I drive it more than about 15 minutes, I get pain in my lower back on the left side. I thought it was because I was slouching so I'd fit better (I'm 6'4"). So I put in a Recaro SPG XL seat. Now I can sit as straight up as I possibly can and still have a bit of room. The Recaro seat is much better than the stock seat. I can find positions that do not cause pain, but not always. I just had about a month off from work during which I never drove the Boxster more than 5 minutes at a time. It was great. My back didn't bother me the entire time. The last two weeks I've been working. That first day back I drove to work (30 minutes) and was sore for the rest of the day. Being a pilot, I sit all day at work and those seats don't bother me at all.

I can't figure out what causes it. I have noticed that the pedals in the Boxster are very far over to the right. It feels odd to me. It's like I have to bend my knees to the right from their natural position. I'm thinking that perhaps that makes me sit twisted slightly in the seat. I also thought that perhaps it was because the seat is so close to the floor that my legs are almost parallel to the floor. This makes the angle between my upper-legs and torso more accute than say in an airplane or my wife's truck. However, last week I sat in my Pontiac Firehawk which has almost the exact same seating position and it was very comfortable even after 20 minutes.

I'm wondering if anybody else have found that their Boxster causes back pain. If so, have you found a solution? Yesterday I finally told my wife that I think I might have to sell the car if I cannot find a solution.
I've done a couple multi-hour drives in mine, most of the pain I experience is due to lack of lumbar support. Then again, I like the acute angle/bucket seat type thing, and have my Mazda adjusted the same way. I notice most people that drive my Mazda immediately lower the front of the seat.

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Old 06-29-2009, 12:41 PM   #3
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If it's a lumbar issue, some take a DIY approach with a blood pressure cuff inserted behind the back rest padding and pump wedged next to the center console. It works with stock seats; not sure about your Recaro.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:45 PM   #4
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A friend used to use a cylindrical pillow at the seatback where it meets the seat bottom. Said his chiropractor gave him the pillow. And he had one for every car.

Car #2 had duct tape wrap to turn square pillow into cylinder!
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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Back Support

I recently bought a Posture Curve Back Support , pg. 170, Performance Products:
www.************************************************************ This snugs up against my lumbar region and feels good during any drive (at least so far) Advanced Automotive has cheaper/less expensive examples but at $38 dollars and in a gray color I was pleased with the purchase. A strap holds it in place. You might give something like these products a try before selling the car.

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Old 06-29-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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I have the same complaint about the seats. A lumbar pillow does help.

Turning on your seat heaters also will help the blood circulate in your back on long drives. Of course, that's not needed in my neck of the woods for a vast majority of the year.
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
Turning on your seat heaters also will help the blood circulate in your back on long drives. Of course, that's not needed in my neck of the woods for a vast majority of the year.
Assuming one has a seat heater.
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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So true. I've actually got them in my newish seats but I have not plugged them in and wired them up.

In Houston, there's only about five days a year when the Boxster is out and seat heaters are appreciated.
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:21 PM   #9
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Porsche's seating ergonomic design (with exception to the Cayenne) are not suitable for daily long drive use, or touring purposes. The stiff suspension also adds to the exaccerbating factor. These are cars designed for the track, and touring is secondary- Porsche racing heritage.

My brother who is also a Medical practitioner (like myself) swears by his M3, and M5 because of the improved seating ,and ride comfort ...He can't blame me- i only have 2 passions; Sports Rehab , and Porsches hence my user ID.

I always make it a point to stretch out before, and after seating in SoCal traffic.

Last edited by spine911; 06-29-2009 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:06 PM   #10
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Strange, that was one of my biggest concerns about the car(being 6'2" 245lbs). I just drove back from Cali to Ohio and had no complaints, except a little stiff from lack of movement. I drove around 400 miles between gas stations at a stretch. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't in heavenly comfort like a nice Caddy, or Lincoln, but really for a sports car I was mildy impressed.

On the other hand I have a Mercury mountaineer, that gives me excruciating pain after only driving it an hour. I have no lumbar on my boxster or heated seats. I did have to move it up a little farther than I wanted to and incline the back as far as it could.

I guess you could always buy those beads the cabby's use.

Oh, i did have a sharp shooting pain at first but then I took my wallet out of my back pocket. Seriously!!
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
So true. I've actually got them in my newish seats but I have not plugged them in and wired them up.

In Houston, there's only about five days a year when the Boxster is out and seat heaters are appreciated.
Gee... in my neck of the woods, its more like 5 months.
We have more days below zero than above 100. But then my AC isn't used nearly as much.

I drove my Boxster to Florida, 1200 miles and had no discomfort (other than the un-avoidable dealer visit).
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mptoledo

Oh, i did have a sharp shooting pain at first but then I took my wallet out of my back pocket. Seriously!!
Classic medical textbook case of the Fat Wallet Syndrome.
This condition is quite rare these days due to the economic recession
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mptoledo
Oh, i did have a sharp shooting pain at first but then I took my wallet out of my back pocket. Seriously!!
I did that all my life, but since having these problem, I no longer carry my wallet in my back pocket.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:28 AM   #14
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Actually it was my "Light traveling" wallet, not my "George Castanza" wallet. only a couple CC, Dl, and a few bucks. I was like "Oh Damn" this is going to be a long ride. Then I removed it at the next gas stations and "shazam" the pain went away.

I guess you could always remove the seet and put a "Bean Bag" chair in its place (Just Kiddin)

Is it your lower back? that is what is torched on my Mountaineer. take a small pillow and see if that helps. Good luck with a solution. I'd hate to see you have to give up your boxster over it.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:03 AM   #15
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My 5 cents:
It's track season and before the first event of the season I took my OEM seats out and replaced them with my fiberglass MOMO racing shells.
I was planning to swap the seats after/before each event but find the (bone hard) race seat much more comfortable (after putting a folded towel under my butt) than the OEM seats, so they stay (at least for the summer)
Just getting in and out is a bit harder ...
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:13 AM   #16
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I had really bad back pain driving my e46 m3...the pedals are pushed far to the left, to make room for the transmission firewall...as a result, I sat at a little bit of an angle..which, after 10 minutes, would cause serious pain in my lower back.

I haven't had any issues with the boxster. I think your cure is a nice deep tissue massage every day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Yi
Yesterday I finally told my wife that I think I might have to sell the car if I cannot find a solution.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Demara
I had really bad back pain driving my e46 m3...the pedals are pushed far to the left, to make room for the transmission firewall...as a result, I sat at a little bit of an angle..which, after 10 minutes, would cause serious pain in my lower back.

I haven't had any issues with the boxster. I think your cure is a nice deep tissue massage every day.
That's the way I feel in the Boxster, but I feel like the pedals are far to the right.

I was going for physical therapy and getting a massage once or twice a week. Man, did that help!
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:01 AM   #18
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I used to have a lot of lower back pain in my 30's (scoliosis + motocross racing + waterskiing). I have since been doing regular back exercises and knocked off the motocross and can report 100% cure. My back feels great now at 53. On long drives in the Boxster I get a little stiff from lack of wiggle room so I do stop and stretch every 2 hours or so.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:37 AM   #19
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I don't think its the seats. I dusted off my stock seats from storage this weekend to condition the leather and for a minute I sat in them and realized how well made that seat is.
I thin the problem is how low the seat is to the ground and the jarring from going over changing road conditions on a small amount of rubber. That vibration is traveling up your spine and causes the lower back muscles to fatigue. The last vert in my spine and tailbone are fused from a congenital defect so I'm sensitive to all things that are out of wack or even a slight weight gain.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Yi
I've had mild back pain on and off for years. It's never been a big deal, though painful. Usually, I'd strain my back or wake up sore. It would be sore for a few days, then go away. If I did back strengthening exercises, it would never bother me.

I'm wondering if anybody else have found that their Boxster causes back pain. If so, have you found a solution? Yesterday I finally told my wife that I think I might have to sell the car if I cannot find a solution.
I would recommend seeing a chiropractor as soon as you can.
It sounds like their might be something out of position, that when you apply pressure to it just the right way, is pinching a nerve cluster.

If you can, bring your car, and ask him/her to take a look at your seating position, and show them where it hurts as you sit in the car. They can then look at your leg position, and lower back position, and most likely will be able to pin point the most likely locations that would cause your pain, rather quickly.

A trip shouldn't cost you much if you have decent insurance, and some places, like the one I go to, is only $35 for a session. One session a month or two, and I'm usually doing pretty good.

BC.

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