Basic Installation Installation of the Travel Buddy is very straight forward. You simply clip the buckle together behind your head rest with the velcro flap closure facing toward your seat. This will keep the flap securely closed. You want the top of the Travel Buddy to hit right around shoulder height, level with the base of your neck. You do this by adjusting the straps through the buckle.
Adjusting How to adjust your seat to an ergonomic driving or traveling position: Most of my patients, family, and friends have adopted similar driving postures to compensate for the forward tilt of their head rest. They either jut their head and neck forward, putting a strain and load at the base of their neck and across their shoulders, or they lean their whole seat back and drive with their upper torso rounded forward. This will increase stiffness into a rounded thoracic spine (the middle section), making you more slouched when actually upright. To avoid these mistakes, once you have your Travel Buddy in place, adjust your seat back to approximately 10 degrees beyond vertical. ***This is more than likely the most important step!*** Ideally, if you have the proper amount of range of motion in your neck, you should be able to actually rest your head ON the head rest. However, if you are still working on gaining better posture, you will still want to make sure the base of your head is no more than 10 cm away from the head rest. If you extend your arms fully, without over-reaching from the shoulders, your wrists should touch the steering wheel. This allows for the proper amount of bend in the elbows to drive without having to round your shoulders and fatigue your upper back muscles. Your hips should be at an angle between 100-110 degrees. Some seats may have an adjustment for the tipping angle of the seat as well as the seat back, which will give you more control. Make sure your hips are as far back as they can go in the seat, so that you aren't slouching in your lower back. If your car has adjustable lumbar support, increase that as much as you need. If your car doesn't have it, and you have issues with your lower back, you can use the 1/2" foam from the Travel Buddy and either roll it up, or leave it flat, and place it behind your lower back.
**Please try your Travel Buddy with varying levels of support (both foam inserts, just the 1", or just the 1/2") to decide which one gives you the right amount of posture correction depending on your vehicle and your needs. And please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.**