Anyone With Backache? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Lee Davis
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Anyone With Backache?

Hi Folks

Thanks for the replies to my earlier message. I have had 2 test drives in a 147 now and the following day on each occasion I had back ache.

I suffer backache intermittently and, to be fair, it has been a little sensitive for the
last 5 weeks or so.

What worries me is that being in the 147 has
aggravated it. I am not sure, it could be
due to anything, including the stress of being in a demo car!

In all 8 years of having a Punto I have never had back ache after a journey of any length, so I am worried. I am going to give it another chance and take it out again.

Whilst I was actually *in* the car it felt incredibly comfortable but as anyone who suffers back pain will tell you, the effects are not always felt until *afterwards*.

In theory there should be no problem as all the adjustments are there, including the lumbar, so I ought to be able to get a good position?

I would value comments. I assume anyone on this list is happy by default, though I would be glad to hear from anyone who also suffers back pain and whether they feel the 147 is a good or bad bet in this regard.

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Hi Lee
I can speak from experience as my last car was a Punto Sporting, I have back problems and I now drive a 147.
As you say with all the adjustments there will be no problems for you. I have the Momo leather seats and they are incredibly comfortable AND supportive, especially on longer journeys. The sharper steering i.e. less twisting movement, of the 147 should also help to reduce any back problems. The Punto was good but the 147 is soooo much better ergonomicaly. I still have access to my old Punto and still find it OK but the driving position is not as good as the 147. I also have access to a Peugeot 306 and that is most uncomfortable compared to my Alfa.
Ken [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]
Lee Davis
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Hi Ken

Thanks for this - makes me feel so much better. It could be anything, including maybe just not getting my position right.
Logically I'd be surprised if 2 hours in it would be enough to *cause* back pain, maybe I was just getting stressed out afterwards.

Most likely it was something else.

Maybe it was getting back in the Punto that did it!

Oddly, whilst driving the Alfa I felt surprisingly relaxed, more so than I generally do in the Punto!

I will give it another go. We have also decided to keep the Punto anyway as the PX deal was crap and we love her to bits and my partner could do with her own runaround anyway.

Another question: how many on this forum have actually upgraded from Punto to Alfa?
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Well I will soon be upgrading from Punto to Alfa and I have to say that I feel the seat in the Punto is pretty awful actualy (it is a 55sx). The bolsters which are supposed to give lateral support do nothing for me and I always feel like I'm sitting 'on' the seat rather than 'in' it. It also feels like I am going to fall off the side of the seat if I go round an Island a bit quick (and I often do [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] )

I can't speak from enough experience of the 147 but here is a quote from a review : (

'I slotted a couple of sizeable adults into the back seats and they reported ample comfort and few of the bumps and bangs normally associated with sitting almost atop the rear suspension. But front-seat occupants obviously get the better deal, and the Momo leather seats are more than just sensuous. Deep bolsters deal with lateral forces and adjustable lumbar supports should maintain the sort of posture that minimises slouch and long-haul fatigue. After one 3-hour stint behind the wheel I emerged as fresh as a daisy, which is no mean feat as I was feeling like a second-hand rose when I set off.'

One thing I may suggest is not going for 17" wheels as you will feel the bumps a lot more with 17"ers. Stay with the 16"ers.

147 2.0 Selespeed - Gabianno Blue - Red Momo Leather - 17" Super Sports - Sunroof - 10 CD Changer - Connect Nav+ - Climate Pack - Winter Pack
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In my job I spend a lot of time behind the wheel,covering about 40,000 miles per year.I get a lot of backache from spending so much time behind the wheel aggravated further by years of playing rugby.My company cars have included a Mondeo,Focus,406,156 and currently a Vectra.Of these,despite Alfas previous reputation for producing cars suited for people forming the missing link between apes and neanderthal man I found the 156 to give the best driving position,despite me, having long legs and a short body.I found I could drive for several hours without discomfort.
I had a 147 for a couple of days last year and that too, on my admittedly brief aquaintance suited me well.
Its always worth spending some time getting the position adjusted,for your personal preference.I find positioning of the steering wheel particularly critical to being comfortable.

Some days you`re the statue and some days you`re the pigeon
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I think I can offer a simple explaination to all this.......and its to do with posture and relative tension/relaxation position of the muscles, ligaments and vertebrae in the back. Your back gets used to a certain posture (good or bad). Its the same when you get a new bed mattress( even an expensive posture-paedic one) first its uncomfortable until either your back or the mattress adapts to the new conditions.
The seating of my 147 was so strange when I first got back would feel stiff after every drive and I yearned for the comfort of my old Toyota RAV4. Now when I drive the RAV it feels VERY uncomfortable and gives me an ache.
The doc has spoken!!!!!!!!
Lee Davis
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Thanks for all the replies etc. I'm going to give it another go on Saturday. I agree that
good positions can make you ache until you get used to it. If you're used to slumping in a chair, a sit upright position can be painful even though it's better for you longterm.

I wonder if there is any recommended order to the adjustments?
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one of my uncles in Italy is very high up in the company that makes Alfa, Fiat and Lancia seats, and seats for light planes as well I think (plus some yank tanks, too). If you have any seat complaints, let me know and the next time he's in the UK, I'll arrange it so you can all take it in turns to beat him senseless. He's 6ft 4; you've been warned! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Lee Davis
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Well Guys, I took the 147 for another run
on Saturday. My back was already niggly and I thought this would be a good test of how it would stand up!! In total I was in the Alfa
for 3 hours and the Punto for 1.5 hours (getting to the dealer and back). This is
*much* longer than I normall spend - usually no more than 1.5 hours per day, longest journeys usually no more than 4 hours (holiday trips)!

At first I had a great deal of trouble getting comfortable and was on the verge of just returning it and giving up but I persevered and eventually found a good position. I have quite short legs so tend to sit quite close to the wheel in the Punto. In the end, I moved the seat back a little, raised the seat (I don't like being too low)
and adjusted the lumbar support. Bingo! I woke up on Sunday with no backache at all. In fact it felt better than it has for a long time. Today it's a little less comfortable but OK and I wonder now if being in the Alfa is actually *good* for the back.

Also, I realised that last week I had the lumbar in the *wrong* position - the knob turns in the opposite direction to the Punto. I may have been driving it with hardly any lumbar support at all. Silly me
and no wonder I had problems.

One other thing that has been bothering me is the large lips or bolsters at the front of the seats. In the Punto I have nothing touching the back of my legs. Not so in the Alfa, and I found that hard to get used to.
However, once I had moved up and back a little I had more clearance. It did occur to me also that the bolsters could have a massaging effect on the calfs, which would be good. Eg chaning gear etc would cause the leg to press against it. Does this make sense? Does anyone else think the bolsters
are good or bad?

What is for sure though is that the 147 is
great to drive. When I got back in the Punto it felt like being in a minibus and the steering wheel felt loose in comparison!

Sorry to ramble on but it's a big decision
for me and I am grateful for your views.

The basic problem is that they are selling the 147 FAR too cheaply - it's about the same as a Ford Focus. No, it's a great tragedy - if the 147 was a few more £K I
wouldn't have this problem as I couldn't afford it. Naughty Alfa :-)

Cheers for listening
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didn't know what a bolster was till you mentioned it!! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

The only car that has had better dseats that i have owned is the Golf T imo.The Alfa Momos are great,several hours and you will be as fresh as a fresh bloke!

I have a prolapsed disc btw,and seats are important to me as well,and i don't have a problem with the leather Momos

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