Whether you spend a lot of time in your vehicle as part of your job, or you are simply traveling on leisure, your legs might start to hurt after a few hours of driving. This stiffness and ache is often a result of immobility or strenuous activity focused on one muscle group far a certain length of time. There are various ways to prevent leg pain while driving which range from home remedies for leg pain and muscle cramps, like a warm or cold compress to muscle recovery tools and products.
Why do your legs hurt while driving?
Leg pain while driving occurs when the nerves on your back and legs are compressed and pinched over a long duration with minimal movement. While driving, your right leg is more prone to aches and soreness as it’s doing all the work from controlling the brake and accelerator. Calf pain while driving is also a common occurrence and your leg muscles will eventually cramp and get stiff from being in the same position over a long duration of time.
What causes leg pain while driving?
The pain you’d feel while driving is often described as a sharp, shooting pain that throbs in one or both legs; usually in your thighs or lower leg muscles. In some instances, you can relieve the pain by stretching your legs. You can also take your foot off the accelerator and use cruise control. The most common leg pain while driving is a condition called sciatica. It occurs when the sciatic nerve that runs through the lower back and thigh is pinched or obstructed for a certain time period. Sciatica leg pain while driving will result in a persistent throbbing pain that shoots through both legs and lower back. Additionally, drivers could face Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – leg pain that occurs after driving or stopping movement. Read our guide to DOMS and how you can recover and prevent it.
Don’t ignore leg pain caused from driving
If you’re experiencing chronic leg pain each time you sit behind the wheel, you might need to consider scheduling an appointment with a doctor or physiotherapist. Ignoring any pain in your body, whether caused from driving, or any other physical activity isn’t advised. Finding treatments and prevention methods is essential especially if you get recurring leg pain or muscle cramps while or after driving.
Treating leg muscle cramps and soreness while/after driving
Once you reach your destination, walk around and do some light stretches. It’s vital to get blood circulating properly through our body after your journey ends and you stop driving. Avoid sitting for a few minutes, unless completely necessary.
If you experience leg pain while driving, try repositioning your seat a bit. Many drivers feel instant relief by pushing their seat back – enough to have their legs stretched out in front of them. This is especially useful if you’re on a highway and unable to stop your car for a quick stretch-break.
Additionally, you can also learn some simple car exercises to practice while driving. This could include stretching your toes, moving your shoulders and arms in circular motions or tightening and relaxing your leg/calf muscles periodically.
Other ways to help relieve pain and cramps while driving is to apply a warm and cold compressor on to the stiffness of your leg muscles. A warm compress will help avoid cramps while an ice therapy will relieve any stiffness and aches in your legs. You should also wear comfortable clothing and shoes while driving and traveling long distances. If you’re looking for a muscle recovery tool that provides relief from aches and stiffness and improves circulation, Spryng is the best alternative. You can simply wear it for 15 minutes and get about your day!