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Please check your blind spot. As you know, with driving the ability to see what is in the blind spot could be a matter of life or death. A blind spot in a vehicle is an area around the vehicle that cannot be directly observed by the driver while at the controls, under existing circumstances.

So take this little test. Turn your head to look over the shoulder without your eyes going to the corners or you twisting your torso.  The blind spot size depends on a lot of different factors but one of the important factor is the ability to freely move the neck within the 90 degrees either to the right or left of facing forward. If you have less than 90 degrees of functional neck rotation, the size of your blind spot will increase. Increased blind spot increases the chances of not seeing the car that is at your back panel of your vehicle when you are going to change lanes, for example.

Everyone knows that age and health have a bearing on how far a person can turn their heads. Statistics say that everyone will stiffen with age to the point that approximately one half of the range of motion can be last. I disagree.  In my practice of over twenty years, I have seen many who have lost their range of motion regain it in spite of their age. So if you are thinking that you are just getting old and that is the way things are. Think again. It could be that you are just “stoved up” and need an adjustment on those joints to get them moving again.

A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person has a field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian in each eye. That is one of the requirements to pass to receive a commercial license. But I believe that it would save a lot of vehicle side swipes, if drivers were also tested on their range of motion in the neck to determine their ability to see more in the blind spot region.

In many states, central visual acuity and peripheral vision are routinely tested by the Department of Motor Vehicles when a license is renewed. The older you get, the more important it is for older people renewing their license to have good peripheral vision. . For example, the incidence of crashes is 6 times higher when useful field of view is reduced by > 40%. One of the ways is to increase the range of motion.

Many of my patients have commented on the fact that along with the increased range of motion, there is a decrease joint ache, pain, headaches or muscle spasms. The benefits of proper joint motion can only be appreciate by those who have lost the range of motion and then regained it. They have often commented that they feel young again.

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