What Are The Most Common Reasons For Knee Pain While Driving?
Do you agree with me when I say that knee pain while driving is no joke? Most probably, you may have undergone this type of pain at one point in your driving life. Worst – you may be suffering from it this very moment.
Fret not; I have researched the most common causes of knee pain while driving, and I came up with two. Knowing about them will help you cope with the knee pain.
Cause #1 - Gas Pedal Knee
The knee is one of the active body parts when you’re driving. Without the knee, you won’t be able to step on the gas pedal of vehicles.
The motion (foot on pedal) is repetitive, especially when traffic is heavy. Because of the repeated rotation of the lateral tibia of the leg when stepping on the gas pedal, injury and damageare inflicted to the right knee’s cartilage and muscles.
This is called Gas Pedal Knee.
Symptoms of Gas Pedal Knee
- Knee asymmetrical pain (one knee only, usually the right knee)
- Limping (in severe cases)
- Right foot pointing outward when the person is in a standing position
- Stiffness of the right foot
- Increased pain in the right knee when running and walking
Treatment of Gas Pedal Knee
You could exercise to relieve the pain of your right knee. Here are some recommended exercises:
- Foam Roll Quads - You can use a foam roller to massage your legs, knees and thighs. It’s done by simply rolling back and forth the foam roller on your legs, knees and thighs.
- Swiss Ball Hamstrings Curls - You can use a Swiss ball to exercise your hamstrings and your legs.
- Glute Ham Raise - This exercise massages the muscles of your legs and your hamstrings. Use a glute ham machine by raising your body, while your legs are anchored to the machine.
Another alternative is to exercises your legs without the glute ham raise machine.
- Other exercises that can increase the flexibility of the right lower leg - Such as the inward rotation of the right foot, while sitting down. You can do this by crossing your right leg.
The right ankle is raised and supported by the left thigh, as the right foot is rotated.
- When walking and running, you should turn your right lower leg inwards - Learn how to walk and run properly; the position is going inwards.
2. Proper Position When Driving
The heel should be pointed towards the middle of the car, so that when you step on the gas pedal, your leg will end up pointing at the right direction.
Watch the whole YouTube video about ‘how to prevent pain while driving’.
3. Quit driving
While your knees are still recuperating, you should not drive. Keep in mind that your wrong movements while driving have caused the pain. Hence, these actions must be stopped until the injury has been treated properly.
Pain relievers or analgesics can be given for severe pain. Examples of these are paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Cause #2 - Chondromalacia Patellae or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Also known as Runner’s Knee, this syndrome can become exacerbated when driving. The causes vary from one person to another, and it usually involves young people.
This condition is characterized by the injury or damage of the protective sheath of the cartilage below the kneecaps.
The kneecaps or patella are injured or damaged because of increased pressure; improper alignment of patella, or knees, or other leg parts.
Also, overuse of the knee due to sports, or similar strenuous activities and ‘wear and tear’ because of aging.
This injury can cause knee pain while driving, while going up and down the stairs, or when running, kneeling or squatting, or in any activity that involves the knees.
Symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
- Pain in the anterior portion of one or both knees (kneecap) that is intermittent
- Swelling or inflammation
- Crepitus – grinding noise or feeling when the knees are moved
Treatment of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Now that you know these two common causes of knee pain while driving, you can now apply the treatment methods explained in this post.
Remember, pain on the right leg only (leg that you use when you step on the gas pedal) is one crucial symptom that the knee pain is due to driving.
Knowing the exact cause of the pain will point to the correct treatment; thereby, treating the pain quickly and effectively.
We would like to hear your thoughts about knee pain while driving. We welcome your contributions to inform people of your own experiences.