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A3 = Bad back?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by n25gabe, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. n25gabe
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    n25gabe Member

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    Hey All

    Anyone else with an a3 suffering bad backs?
    I have had bouts of issues with my lower back. But ever since driving the A3 ive had pain constantly.
    Ive got the se cloth interior so no thrills and no lumbar adjustment
    Any one else dealt with this before?
    #1
    deeman88 likes this.
  2. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    i suffer with a bad back because of a bad car accident years ago plus I'm a car detailer so bend down a lot lol the lowered suspension can't be helping mind you haha
    #2
  3. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 <span style="color: blue;"><b>Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    I have the same seats and although I love my A3, the seats and support do let me down.

    Day to day driving it's fine (although it doesn't hold me as tight as I'd like) but I drive to London a few times to month (130ish miles) and I do feel quite stiff sometimes with slight pain.

    Hoping the new sports seats in my BE will be better ;)
    #3
  4. Graham89
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    Graham89 Derv Perv

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    I suffer sore back from time to time driving my Combo van and my A3 so I think driving in general just hurts me lol
    #4
  5. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    the sports seats are soooooo much better than the SE seats believe me they hug you really well
    #5
  6. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd agree, they're not good, and much to my annoyance I realised I forgot to spec lumbar as I thought it was std on S3. They lack lower back support without as I had it on my old car. Waiting for the back ache to start!
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  7. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    DOH !!!
    #7
  8. n25gabe
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    n25gabe Member

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    I love the a3 but i think its killing me, no matter how ive adjusted the seat doesnt do me good, driving 90 mile round trip daily, the car actually loves the drive, its a really great cruiser. im 6'4 and find that i cant see traffic lights so hunch over a fair bit or my heads in the roof :(
    #8
  9. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    you need a bigger car in that case then buddy , trade her in for a A4 they are bigger inside
    #9
  10. n25gabe
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    n25gabe Member

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    yeah was fearing that was the case, my mate has an a4 sline 2.5 tdi with awesome seats, hes offered for me to take that for a few days mwa ha ha ha ha
    #10
  11. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    do it they are comfortable cars in general from what I've found with them
    #11
  12. n25gabe
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    n25gabe Member

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    will do, my last car was a passat that was really comfy and thought go smaller as its only me in the car 90% of the time, egg on face :s
    #12
  13. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    The passat has prob got the most comfortable set up of nearly all the bag cars to be fair lol
    #13
  14. Farhan
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    Farhan Active Member

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    Not happy with my seats and suspension...Find the s line to hard and seats not very supportive. I have lumbar support on mine and even then it drives me nuts as the ruddy seats have developed a squeak from the lumbar support area!
    #14
  15. Arnie
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    Arnie Member

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    mine 04 sport is doing well. never had any back pain and find seats very comfortable, trips 200miles+ are comfy. I am planning on driving a3 via europe next year, 2400miles round trip....
    #15
  16. macpdm
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    macpdm Member

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    My sport seats are generally very comfy but I do miss the electric lumbar support in our previous A3 Tdi sport.
    #16
  17. plezz
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    plezz Member

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    Hey OP, i've got exactly the same standard cloth seats in my SE. I dont get back pain, but i do get a weird pain in my upper right leg/4rse cheek. its like the outer section of the seat cuts into my leg and is trapping a nerve or something. I have to adjust the way i sit, and sometimes have to sit left of centre in the seat to avoid the pain. i was thinking of upgrading to some sport seats, but it would mean doing the back seats as well for the cloth to match,...
    #17
  18. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    I'm 6ft 4" as well but i find the seats in the S3 superb. They are not as comfortable as the A5 by a long way but i can drive 8 hours in the S3 and they get no worse so must be fairly supportive. I have the same problem as you with traffic lights...they stick them so high these days i cant see them once i am nearer than 20-30 yrds.
    #18
  19. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 <span style="color: blue;"><b>Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    My work Audi A6 (11) sports seats are a hell of a lot better than my A3. I am also pretty tall and the extendable part at the bottom for my legs really makes a difference!
    #19
  20. Ash187
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    Ash187 Audi Retrofitter

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    #20
  21. bigman75
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    bigman75 Member

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    Hi

    I'm also 6'4". TBH, I find the sport seats (standard leather & fabric) in my A3, very comfortable. I recall the leather option ones in the SE version of the A3 were very uncomfortable. The leather shiny surface made you feel like u were sliding around and constantly needing to adjust myself..............ooh matron!

    The only issue I have with the A3, if any, is the occasional knee rubbing on the steering column. I have the seat height lowered to max and the seat pretty much all the way back. I adjust the back rest, so I'm in a kind of upright position.

    Like others have said, maybe a bigger car would be better but I prefer the smaller car and it's only a small niggle tbh.

    To the OP. Have you tried a heat pack on your lower back?? :shrug: I couldn't imagine an orthopedic bead cover would do it! :wtf:

    Andy
    #21
  22. 1inchpunch
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    1inchpunch Member

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    Get a similar problem with back pain in the A3. I'm a fair bit shorter at 6ft but I've got long legs and a tendancy to suffer from sciatic nerve pain. I've got the s-line seats with adjustable lumbar support but to be honest it does nothing. I've had the same problem with nearly every other car i've owned as they have all been similar sized hatchbacks. The only time I didn't suffer with it was when I had a 3 series. The Msport seats in it had the extending thigh support and the seat base could be angled up or down. I've been looking at A5 interiors with the same thigh support and thinking about getting some as the Msport seat was bliss....... just a pity about the rest of the package.
    #22
  23. WAFTER
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    WAFTER Member

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    Have sufered back pain for years, a disc that has moved and occasionaly impacts on the sciatic nerve, and a general vulnerability to muscle strain that can render me almost immobile. The problem has been substantially improved by:
    1.
    Use of a seat cushion that is triangular in cross secion, ie thicker at the rear and thinner toward the front, retro-fitted with memory foam.

    2.
    Drivers seat that is soft yet suppportive and ideally has lumbar support ( my ex-company much sneered at Vauxhall Vectra had beetr driver seat than my S-Line AND had lumbar support)

    3.
    Always have cruise control ( again my Vectra had it as standard and have had to retro-fit the S-Line - have come to the conclusion you pay through the nose for a snob car brand and get short changed on equipment ). Cruise means I can relax my right leg which suffers from sciatica pain.

    4.
    Learn which excercises can reduce the pain and increase core strenght.
    #23
  24. plezz
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    plezz Member

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    Hi WAFTER, that sounds kind of similar to the pain i get in my upper leg/arse. its like a dull nerve pain.

    Does anyone know if the A3 sport seats have the same base as the regular A3 SE seats? if its just the back section thats different there isnt much point me upgrading to one of these.
    #24
  25. A13
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    A13 Member

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    Had my A3 S-Line for a month now. For the first couple of weeks had excruciating lower back pain. Seems to have died down now, so not sure if it was just a case of getting used to the seats or something completely different. :S
    #25
  26. w29ard
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    w29ard New Member

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    Had some back pain before getting my a3 sport, was driving wife's pug 206cc for a while as she nicked my a1 to run the kid around, now pains gonna after getting rid ov pug n driving round in a3.
    #26
  27. Jibaro
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    Jibaro New Member

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    I've got a set of mint Sports seats with lumbar on the bay if you think they might help, 290626652857 :thumbsup:
    #27
  28. plezz
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    plezz Member

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    Hey Jibaro, im interested, but i'm driving a 5 door :( i dont know who the tilt function will affect things in a sportback, and obviously i wont be able to use your door cards :'(
    #28
  29. WAFTER
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    WAFTER Member

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    #29
  30. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    I used to drive a Sport version of the A3 with obviously sports seats. I must admit over time I found the gave me some back pains and literally 'a pain in the arse'. This pain was mostly caused by the side bolsters on the seats. I'm quite a large chap.

    Three A3 ago I decided to change to an SE model and to have electric seat adjustment and lumbar support. What a difference. The whole car is so much more comfortable on longer journeys and the seats no longer give me any problems. The electric seat adjustment allows very fine adjustment of each part of the seat and allows raising and lowering of the front edge of the seat cushion. The suspension on the SE is softer but the car still handles well on the motorway and on country lanes. Much better over not so smooth lanes.

    I regularly drive to Mosel Valley area of Germany (460 miles door to door) and I am just as comfortable when I arrive as I was when I started.

    I know "real drivers" always go for the Sport option and I was the same when I was younger but now I drive just as quick and enjoy my driving just as much with the SE.
    #30
  31. Ash187
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    Ash187 Audi Retrofitter

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    i want electric lumbar in my Sportback... anyone selling these? i dont mind if its a fabric seat as i will just transfer over my seat covers.
    #31
  32. marcusgrant
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    marcusgrant New Member

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    6'6 here. standard spec seats, seem ok to me. better than other cars i've driven/drive.

    you want to try a polo bluemotion - HELL!!!!
    #32
  33. aprilfool2003
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    aprilfool2003 New Member

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    Hi, joined the forum just to reply to this A3 bad back issue.
    I had a citroen for 10 years and thought i'd upgrade to an audi a3.
    however after a month of driving the a3 SE (cloth seats, no lumbar) I found I'd started to get a bad back. Nothing serious at first but within a further month it got progressively worse until I could hardly walk.
    This was Dec 2010 and I thought it must be the A3 seat as when I drove my dads Fabia on occasion it would give me a bad back for a day (VW group connection?)
    Anyway after about 2-3 months of physio and exercise I was ok and reluctant to 'blame' the car as I'd just got it (and its nice); so got a wedge cushion for the drivers seat and continued using thru the summer without issue.
    I drive only 25 mins to work and 25 back each day and not much else so it wasnt a case of long hours driving.
    But, this Nov 2011 I noticed the back pain again and although I tried the physio exercises I was incapacitated within a week. It was incredibly painful and I've had 3 weeks on the sick, now back to work but in pain and cannot sit and stand for long and needless to say driving in the A3 to work is a nightmare.
    As said by others I have a pain at the base of the spine on the right side which is accompanied by nerve issues down the right leg from the backside to the knee. Cannot extend either leg (hamstring) or bend forward and get a general 'weak' spasm occasionally like a loss of strength.
    I think the prob is that the A3 SE seat does not support my thighs at all (I'm 6') so I am sitting with my backside on the seat and have knees higher. I've tried every position - the citroen I had was able to 'rock' the angle of the base of the seat ie angle up or down the whole seat so I could adjust to support my thighs. The A3 only goes up and down or tilt the back.

    Any ideas on replacing the seat with one more supportive one (perhaps from other VW group models) or its a new car for me.
    #33
  34. Brodster
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    Brodster Shark Performance In Scotland Regional Rep Site Sponsor

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    When I had my 2.0 TDI SE I used to get immense pain in my lower back. Was doing roughly 500 miles over every weekend. Got to the stage where I hated driving as I knew what was coming. Since buying the S3 I have had NO back pain whatsoever even after driving to London and back in one day. Im currently trying to track down some buckets to fit the S3 now, so fingers crossed they are as comfy.
    #34
  35. WAFTER
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    WAFTER Member

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    You must get the seat cushion I described which has a cut out at the rear to suport both bottom cheeks yet allow the lower (sphincter) to effectively be suspended and not rest on anything. Otherwise just a piece memory foam will act as additional suspension. Make sure you are sitting upright, don't freeze in the same position, move your arse about a bit. Also a sliver of foam can be sued to give you suport in lower back in place of a lumber adjustment. I hide the seat pad and lumber pad beneath a nice quality seat cover.
    #35
  36. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    I had the same problem with back pain why I first got mine - at first i thought i was sitting too close to the dash so I messed about with the back & forward position then moved on to the height adjustment but then when I actually sat in the car for a bit on the drive I realised my lower back seemed to be getting scrunched so I messed with the back of the seat positioning and nailed it!
    Just moved it back a touch and it seemed to release the tension, did feel weird at first but soon got used to it!
    #36
  37. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Since being without lumbar in this S3 I've got sciatica which means I've got constant pins and needles in the back of my left leg!

    Initially thought it was something I'd done (lifting etc), but every time I get in and drive for extended period it seems to get worse.

    I see Staples are stocking a black lumbar cushion which I'm going to buy (tenner), which will look ****, but may help with my issue. I'm only late 30's so hardly pensionable!

    Does anyone know if I got an insert made for the seat, is it possible to push it up within the seat leather as a non adjustable fix? I guess it means having the seat out and getting an upholsterer to open the leather up?
    #37
  38. WAFTER
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    WAFTER Member

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    A final word from me so PLEASE READ.
    Back pain is almost universal (ask any doctor) and almost impossible to accurately diagnose. Very frustrating because a doctor cannot see anything and few are qualified to properly examine you. Forget chiropractors, I tried 3 and all a waste of time and money.
    I hassled my doctor so much she sent me for an x-ray. As a result it was found one of my discs was very slightly squashed and occasionaly impacing on nearby nerves. I was then placed on a short NHS course where I was comprehensively interviewed about my long term back and 'apparent' sciatica problems and over a period of 10 weeks once a week I attended lectures on the spine and how to look after it, sit properly etc. and undertook supervised excercises in the NHS hospital gym, which I had to do at home daily.
    The discipline of making time to do excercises daily was a struggle but slowly my back/core became stronger and the pain began to
    ease. Paying mega bucks to join a gym that employed proper professionaly trained experts ( not silly little boys and girls ) forced to me to attend regularly to get full value and follow their advice as well as the supplied NHS excercise sheet.
    I had noticed that my pains eased slightly after evacuating a full bowel........... THEN WHAM! after 2 days in agony with stomach pains I was rushed by ambulance where I had an emergency operation for a strangulated hernia and infected intestine (Merkels Diverticulam).
    Death was hours away.

    9 months later I am almost recovered and interestingly I now have;
    No back pain.
    No sciatica-like pain in my leg.
    For the first time in about 8 years I can stand for more than 10 minutes.
    BUT my back does still feel weak especially first thing in the morning.
    3 times a week I visit the gym and continue my floor excercise regime coupled with a 30 minute session on the static bike machine. Running still hurts my tummy which was after all messed about with. Spa/steam room/sauna wonderful aid to relaxing.
    MY MESSAGE IS; HASSLE YOUR DOCTOR - INSIST ON AN IN-DEPTH EXAMINATION - DON'T BE FOBBED OFF WITH TABLETS - DON'T BE FOBBED OF WITH A CHOROPRACTOR (back pain being so invisible you are very vulnerable to crank medicine)
    #38
  39. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting read, I'm going to get it looked into as I haven't been right since about a week after taking delivery of the car and it could be purely coincidental. Cheers.
    #39

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