When dealing with low back pain or just after a total hip or knee surgery, getting in or out of the car can be difficult. In order to make sure you don’t aggravate your injury or cause discomfort, you should practice the proper car posture and body mechanics.

How to Get Into the Car with Proper Posture

1.) Start with facing out of the car with the back of your legs touching the car.

2.) Aim your bottom to the seat while using your hands on the car door to help you lower yourself to the seat.

3.) Once sitting, your feet should still be outside of the car. Engage your stomach muscles first, then bring one leg into the car at a time. You can use your hands to help if necessary.

4.) Scoot your bottom completely into the back of the seat and wedge a towel roll into your low back. This should be just above your pelvic bones (where you put your hands on your hips).

5.) Keep your feet wide and flat on the ground.

Reverse this process for getting out of the car. Do not forget to tighten your stomach muscles when lifting one leg at a time out to the ground. When going to stand up, make sure your feet are wide and set, then push through your legs engaging your glutes and quads. Do not just pull on the car door, as this is unsteady and could lead to you falling back!

Watch Our Demonstration

Watch the video below to see Megan Starr, DPT, demonstrate how to properly get into the car if you have back problems, or if you are recovering from a knee or hip surgery.


Other Important Car Posture Tips

  • It is helpful to have the seat of your car pulled all the way back to give you ample room to swing your legs in and out.
  • Play with the size of the towel roll until it fills the space of your low back and feels comfortable.
  • Please talk with your PT if you have had a surgery so you know what your precautions are.

The Endurance Team