Leg Pain Caused by Driving: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

In these modern times, where most of us own a personal vehicle, mostly a four-wheeler we spend a lot of our time driving. Be it driving to and from your office and work or in the neighborhood dropping kids to school, running some errands, or any other work, we rely on our personal mode of travel which is not only much more comfortable and convenient but also saves a lot of our time which is spent unnecessarily while opting to travel by a public mode of conveyance know leg pain caused by driving.

Nowadays with the growing population and increasing use of automobiles especially four-wheelers, road traffic on a daily basis is something all of us is a victims of. All those people who spend major hours of their day driving or are stuck in their car often come up with questions like why does my leg nerve hurt while driving? Or why do we suffer from knee pain after driving? All these are common symptoms of body muscle pain caused by excessive hours of driving.

While there are many reasons for suffering from severe body and leg pain caused due to driving, traffic also plays a major part in it. Being stuck in traffic for a longer duration of time results in extreme body ache due to the confinement of your body in the car seat and gives rise to multiple other body-related problems apart from leg pain. Let us look at some of the reasons which cause us to suffer from extreme body and leg pain while driving.

Symptoms of leg pain caused by driving:

Leg Pain Caused By DrivingIt is commonly seen that the right leg is much more affected than the left leg and causes more discomfort which is caused by the stiffening of our muscles. The major reason why the intensity of right leg pain while driving is much greater than the left one is because we mostly use our right foot for the majority of the work and put a lot more pressure on it as compared to our other foot. Due to extra pressure and being confined in our car seats, the muscles of our legs stiffen and cause major discomfort while driving as well as after that as well.

Some of the common symptoms of leg pain caused by driving are listed below.

  • A sensation of tingling followed by a sensation of numbness which results in the foot falling asleep while driving is the most common symptom of leg pain caused by driving.
  • A growing stiffness in our muscles which causes aches and extreme discomfort is also one of the many symptoms.
  • Sharp and shooting pain throbs down the leg from the lower back region of our body to the thighs. It is also a symptom of a medical disorder called sciatica.

What is the reason for Leg Pain Caused By Driving?

leg pain caused by driving

Many of us complain about leg pain when sitting or hip pain while driving or knee pain after driving long distances. Most of us ignore these initial symptoms and continue to suffer without realizing that we can unintentionally elevate the problem. It is important that we educate ourselves and get familiar with the causes as well as possible treatments to put an end to all these discomforts caused by driving.

Let us look at the reasons why people suffer from ankle pain when sitting down or leg pain caused by driving. A shooting and sharp pain that occurs in one or both legs is experienced by most people that may or may not get elevated when the driver takes his or her leg off the accelerator. Some people suffer from persistent pain and discomfort which accompanies them even when they are not behind the wheel. Sometimes the pain is bearable but for many individuals, it gets to an extreme case where severe medication and treatment are required.

Many people complain about Sciatica pain behind the knee and calf, which is also caused by sitting behind the wheels for a long duration of time. Sciatica is the most common condition that results in severe leg pain caused by driving. A nerve called the sciatic nerve runs along the lower back region extending to our thighs. It often gets pinched or over time it gets obstructed which results in the condition of severe pain in the leg when sitting or driving and often results in pain in the lower back region of our body.

It is a very common condition that is caused due to being seated in your car seat for an extremely long duration of time; it can affect any individual but is most commonly seen in people who have a job that involves them operating a vehicle and hence spend most of their times behind the wheel. When seated we apply pressure on our lower back region, which presses down our sciatic nerve. The force on these nerves gets elevated when we press and apply pressure on the accelerator resulting in extreme discomfort and thigh pain after sitting for a long time.

Another very common condition that is caused by driving for a long duration of time is chondromalacia patellae also commonly known as CMP. This condition can be distinguished from sciatica as it involves severe pain in the leg which is more prominent in the knee region. It is often caused by the gradual degradation or deterioration of the cartilage that is present beneath the knee cap while staying behind the wheel can be a major cause of CMP, other reasons such as leg injury and even aging can also result in knee pain when sitting.

Apart from these medical conditions some minor habits also cause severe right leg pain or sometimes pain in both legs. Some of the reasons are listed below.

  • Uncomfortable seat– While most of us pay attention to the car seat, the majority of us also choose to ignore the setting of a car seat or the cushioning offered by it. It is important that we sit in a correct posture while driving, as it can also result in body muscle pain. Adjusting your seat and maintaining a proper balance is also equally important. It is often suggested to adjust the car seat according to your height and weight so that you can avoid any unnecessary inconveniences caused.
  • A wallet in the back pocket– Many of us do not pay attention and sit in our car seats with a wallet in our back pockets. It is one of the most common and popular reasons for leg pain from sitting in our car seats. It is not only uncomfortable but also causes severe cramps along with pain down the leg and in the lower back region of our body.
  • Incorrect positioning of the backrest– Many people suffer from neck pain as well and the major concern revolves around how to get rid of neck pain caused by driving. One of the most common reasons for neck pain is the wrong position of the backrest. Along with the seat, it is important that you adjust the backrest according to the foot pedal and steering wheel.

leg pain while drivingDifferent ways in which you can avoid severe leg pain caused by driving

While it is no surprise that leg pain or back pain can be an extremely discomforting experience, it is important that we not only treat the particular areas effectively well but also practice ways in which we can avoid any such inconveniences. It is important that we take care of ourselves and perform preventive measures in order to avoid severe pain in the right thigh, pain in the back leg, and the lower back region of our body, which are the most affected areas when we drive vehicles for a long duration of time.

Some of the preventive measures are listed below that can help you in avoiding any major inconveniences and pain in your body, keep you safe even when driving vehicles for long hours, and stay behind the wheel.

  • Adjust your car seat accordingly– While driving for a long duration of time or preparing to be on the road driving, it is important that we adjust the car seat according to our height and body weight, keeping the seat close to the steering wheel. Another point to be noted is when you sit in the driver’s seat make sure that your knees are placed a little higher than your hip so that you can avoid knee pain when sitting too long or driving long distances.
  • The grip of the steering wheel- While driving your vehicle it is important that you should be aware of your grip on the steering wheel and it is mostly advised to keep changing your grip around the steering wheel and relax a little so as to avoid any knot formation or muscular tension in your body. Keeping in mind these small actions can help you avoid any major discomforts that come along with driving a vehicle for a long duration of time.
  • Learn car exercise- While many people do not understand the importance of car exercises that are specially designed in a way that they can help you in relaxing as well as reducing different kinds of muscular tension and knots that are formed due to being confined in your car seat for a long duration of time. These are small and simple exercises that can be done easily even while driving the vehicle. It mostly includes stretching of toes, moving your shoulder in a circular motion or back and forth, and relaxing and tightening your leg muscles, especially the calves part.
  • Take small breaks- Driving for a long duration of time and covering large distances in one go is not a very wise decision. It is always recommended to take small breaks and pull over to give your body a little rest and put an end to the stiffness of your body muscles. Driving can be a tiring as well as stressful process and therefore it is important that you make sure you give your body a chance to relax and regain its strength.

leg painHow can we treat leg pain caused by driving?

A lot of us are struggling with extreme body pain, especially in the lower back region and legs which is caused due to negligence towards the preventive measures that should be followed while driving on a daily basis or for a long duration of time.

Road trips are always a hood break from our everyday lives and going to new places also gives us a much-needed break from our regular day city lives, but along with the joy and fun that is a part of road trips, another excruciating part is the body pain that is caused due to driving vehicle for long distances without taking small breaks.

Leg pain from sitting can be avoided but in most cases, people end up suffering from minor pain and discomfort due to extreme driving. You not only put excessive force on your legs but also put extra pressure on the lower back region of your body, causing extreme pain in different parts. While in some cases, proper treatment and extreme medical attention are required for treating leg pain while driving a car, for the majority of people simple remedies can be helpful in the elimination of body, especially leg pain, and putting an end to the constant discomfort that is caused by pain in lower back and legs.

Some of the ways in which you can effectively treat leg pain caused by driving or knee pain are listed below. It is mostly recommended that each and every individual that spends a considerable amount of time behind the wheel should follow some basic remedies in order to stop even minor discomforts to become major inconveniences.

1. Warm and Cold Compressor

A warm and cold compressor is an effective solution that can help you in eliminating the pain caused by the stiffness of the muscles of your leg. Not only it is effective but these compressors are also readily available which makes it a much more preferable choice to buy. Both hot as well as cold compressors can be effective treatments but they offer different physiological effects and it is important that we make sure that we know the difference between both. A warm compressor is most helpful in avoiding and treating muscle cramps, whereas ice therapy is most suitable for relieving the muscles of stiffness and relieving muscle aches.

Leg Pain Caused By Driving

2. Apply muscle-relaxing ointment

The use of muscle-relaxing ointment is also a good alternative for putting an end to the extreme leg pain caused by driving a car or any other vehicle for a longer duration of time. These ointments can help you in avoiding any extreme discomfort and can successfully relax your muscle, making your car ride less stressful and much more enjoyable. It is always a good option to carry a muscle-relaxing ointment with you whenever you plan on going on a road trip.

3. Use Wedge Cushions

Another great option that can help you in avoiding any discomfort while driving your car and can also bring relief to people that are already suffering from leg pain caused by driving is the use of wedge cushions. Not only these are extremely comfortable and soft but they are also available at a very affordable range of prices. It is a perfect solution for all those complaining about hip pain from driving; these cushions provide your hips with the necessary support and help you in putting an end to the discomfort caused by staying behind the wheel for a long duration of time.

The extra cushioning provided by these wedge cushions helps decrease the compression of the nerve present in the back of your leg and prevents it from getting pinched as frequently as it does without the extra cushioning. This helps you by not only putting an end to the stiff calves after sitting but also helps you in driving for a longer duration of time without a sensation of numbness or other discomforts.

4. Wear comfortable clothes

While going on long drives or road trips always wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes so that you can avoid putting any extra strain on your legs and muscles while you sit and drive for a long duration of time. Tight-fitting clothes can not only restrict your movements but also cause extra strain on your thighs and knee region.

5. Use mesh back support

You can also buy a mesh back support so that you can avoid unnecessary back pain that comes along with sitting in a particular position and being confined in your car seat for a long duration of time.

6. Stretch yourself

Stretching as well as taking small breaks are also effective methods of dealing with muscle stiffness and can help you relax.

How to Help Leg Pain Caused By Driving

If your profession includes driving around a lot, or if you have ever driven over long distances, you know exactly what it means to have excruciating leg pain from driving. The majority of people who encounter leg pain while driving describe it as an intense, shooting pain that can throb in one or both of their legs. In some situations, taking the foot off the accelerator and using cruise control can help relieve the pain, but for many drivers, the discomfort lasts the whole time they’re driving. Also, if your car does not have the cruise control feature, that does not leave many options for you except to tough it out until you reach where you are driving.

Leg Pain Caused By Driving

Regardless of whether or not you spend large amounts of time in your car, leg pain when driving can be inconvenient and quite uncomfortable. Leg pain while driving can have a variety of causes, so if you are experiencing this discomfort, it is helpful to learn about some of these causes and treatment options.


A disorder known as sciatica is the most prevalent trigger of leg pain when driving. The sciatic nerve, which passes through the lower back and through the thigh gets pinched or obstructed in some way or the other over time, resulting in this disorder. This can cause chronic pain in the lower back and in one or both legs, even going so far as to cause leg pain from sitting too long. Since the driving position generally applies pressure on the sciatic nerve, this problem can develop over a long period of time or even quickly. The pain usually occurs in the right leg while driving since that leg is being used and flexed much more frequently than the left leg.

If you suffer from knee pain when driving, the problem may be of a different nature. Chondromalacia patellae, also known as CMP is a disease that affects the kneecap. This disorder is most common in people who spend a lot of their time driving a vehicle, and it causes the cartilage underneath the kneecaps to deteriorate over time. However, in some situations, degeneration may be caused by other factors, such as unrelated accidents or even aging.

A few solutions on how to avoid leg pain while driving

  • Most people who suffer from leg pain from driving, knee pain when driving, and leg pain from sitting too long, choose to adjust their driver’s seats accordingly so as to be able to stretch their legs until they are straight. While it may take some getting used to driving in this position, it will help relieve the stress from your legs and knees considerably.
  • A lumbar support cushion goes a long way in helping out people suffering from sciatica or driving legs. It helps out the driver by supporting the lumbar and taking the stress off your hips and legs.
  • If you are still feeling pain in your right leg pain while driving or in your back or knees, you should consult a doctor.

Final Thoughts:

It is important that we pay attention to our body’s call for help and do not overwork ourselves, straining our body and mind. It is always better to be on the safer side and follow small preventive measures that can help us make our driving experience much more enjoyable and a lot less stressful.

Many of the products for the treatment of leg pain caused by driving mentioned above are available on multiple e-commercial websites at a very affordable range of prices. You can easily compare and buy the product which suits best according to our requirements.

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