How to Avoid Leg Pains When Driving

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While driving is usually a wonderful enjoyable experience, we sometimes experience leg pains while on the road making the experience anything but fun. The pain can start from the buttocks and spread to one or both legs. These can sometimes be accompanied by muscle cramps, spasms and nerve pulls.

Leg pains is one of the most common pains associated with driving. The body has been in one seated position for too long and there is the constant pressing of the pedals causing the muscles to strain. Some of the reasons why you experience leg pains while driving are:

  • Bad sitting posture: This can be contributed by uncomfortable seats, bad headrest position and items in the back pocket such as a wallet.
  • Stressful traffic: If there is heavy uneven traffic, you will constantly be doing quick accelerations and stops. This strains your leg muscles and if you do this for several hours, the muscles might start cramping.
  • Car issues: If your car has issues such as difficulty in acceleration or hard pedals, you will strain your muscles trying to get decent response from the car.

Things you can do to help avoid leg pain are:

  • Adjust your sitting position: Make sure the seat is properly adjusted to offer you adequate thigh and back support while at the same time ensuring your legs can press the pedals comfortably. The backrest should be upright or slightly inclined. You can consider using a cushion for additional lumbar support.
  • Take breaks: Minimise the habit of driving for hours on end. Instead, consider taking hourly breaks where you can get out of the car, stretch your legs and get blood flowing.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration causes muscle cramps. Drink plenty of fluids and always have a bottle of water in the car. You never know how long you will get stuck in the next traffic.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: Wear comfortable fitting shoes that support your feet when driving. Do not drive with shoes that strain your toes, feet or legs e.g. high heels.
  • Do stretches regularly: Stretching and exercising your legs daily loosens your muscles and prevents stiffness. Do this daily before and after driving.
  • Relax while driving: Be a kind relaxed driver, especially when you encounter traffic jam and everyone is trying to get ahead. Try to avoid the strain and tension in that moment as it will reflect on how hard you press the pedals. If the situation goes on for hours, that strain will reflect in your legs and back.
  • Take good care of your car: A well maintained car makes for a stress-free driving experience. Always ensure your car is well maintained by following the recommended maintenance schedule and having issues that crop up fixed immediately.

If you have a persistent pain in your leg, you should see a doctor. They will be able to diagnose and treat any underlying medical issues or injuries.

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