There are many different causes of foot pain ranging from standing for long hours to wearing the wrong shoes. But did you know that you could also develop foot pain from driving? Indeed, those long road trips and cross-country adventures may come with a consequence. This is particularly the case if you drive a manual transmission vehicle, sit in the wrong position, or have highly resistant pedals.
The repetitive movements of stepping on your accelerator, pressing on the brakes, and balancing the clutch could result in stress along different sections of your feet. Here are specific ways through which driving may initiate or elevate foot pain and how you can seek timely treatment from a podiatrist.
1. Stiffness from pedal balance
If your pedals are rigid or you drive a manual transmission vehicle, you may experience stiffness along your ankle area (and near the top of your foot). This condition arises when you spend long periods working various muscles to keep the pedal balanced. For example, balancing the clutch requires you to hold it in a specific position and slowly adjust it whenever you're changing gears. This process may exert undue pressure on ankle muscles (and near your toe area) thus causing stiffness.
How to treat stiffness
A podiatrist can help alleviate soreness around the ankle by using hot and cold therapy. Stiff muscles typically occur due to tension and soreness. Therefore, gentle massages with hot water (and dipping the foot in cold water) can help rejuvenate blood flow and make the affected muscle more flexible.
You can also avoid repeated stiffness by wearing comfortable shoes. Make sure the sole is sturdy enough to keep your foot in a proper position, and take regular breaks while driving.
2. Pain along joints and on upper sections of your foot
In addition to stiffness, you may also experience pain and discomfort along specific joints of your foot. Such pain often arises from previous foot complications being made worse by driving. For example, if you spend long hours standing and you also drive for long periods to/from work, you may fall victim to joint and upper foot pain.
How to alleviate pain and discomfort
Your podiatrist may recommend changes to how you drive, stand, or walk. This is the first step towards addressing muscle pain, along with physiotherapy techniques (deep massages and stretching exercises). For example, you should avoid standing on the edges of your feet or tiptoeing around as you walk. And while driving, your car seat should be positioned such that you have control over the pedals without maintaining an awkward position.
To learn more about foot care, contact a podiatry clinic in your area.