Most of us are familiar with tennis elbow, which is the irritation of the tissue connecting the elbow to the forearm muscle.
The main cause of tennis elbow is overuse. Well, did you know that there’s a similar thing that happens in the knee?
It’s called gas pedal knee, and it’s a common symptom experienced by people who drive a lot.
Gas Pedal Knee – Overview
If you’re like most people, you probably drive your car every single day.
Whether it’s to work, school, or soccer practice, chances are that you spend over 45 minutes in your car each day. That’s a lot of time!
When driving, you’re constantly using your foot to press the gas and brake pedal.
Not only that, but you must use the right amount of pressure on each pedal to avoid crashing.
Over time, these precise, repeated movements can cause pressure on the knee that carry over into your day-to-day life.
Gas pedal knee can lead to pain as well as muscular imbalances when walking, running, or standing.
Can Gas Pedal Knee Be Prevented?
Knee pain from driving is caused by using poor posture repeatedly over the course of many months or years.
Therefore, the only way to correct it is to fix your posture. Gas pedal knee is caused by an imbalanced foot on the gas pedal.
You can fix this by placing your foot flat on the center of the gas/brake pedal. In the beginning, this will probably be very challenging.
After all, you’ve been doing it wrong your whole life! By focusing on keeping your foot flat on the center of the gas pedal, it will become easier with time.
The key is to do it long enough to where it becomes habit. Then you don’t need to focus on it as much.
Other Ways to Fix Gas Pedal Knee
Not only should you be conscious when driving, but you should also be conscious when doing other things in your life.
For example, whenever you’re walking the dog or standing in line at the grocery store, focus on positioning your feet properly.
Also, make sure that your body is properly aligned. Again, this might be challenging in the beginning, but overtime, it will become easier.
How to Treat Knee Pain Caused by Driving
There are various exercises and stretches that you can do to reduce your pain.
One that we recommend is sitting down on a chair and placing your right ankle over your left thigh. From here, grab your right food and pull it upwards.
Try to make it where your foot is facing the ceiling. Make sure that you don’t overstretch it at this point.
Hold for 10-20 seconds and set your foot back down. The reason this exercise is so effective is because it increases flexibility in your right leg.
It also helps slightly in increasing muscular balance in your left leg.
Cut Down on Drive Time
If possible, cut down on the amount of time you spend driving each week. If you’re someone who absolutely must drive each day, then obviously this tip isn’t for you.
But if you have a choice, consider taking public transportation. The human body can heal itself naturally over time.
However, if you don’t give it the chance, then it’s never going to happen. Before trying any of the tips in this article, talk to your doctor.
They may be able to provide you with a better treatment plan for getting rid of your knee pain from driving.
Some drivers claim that hydration plays a huge role in how quickly they’re able to recover from gas pedal knee.
They claim that the more hydrated you are, the faster you’ll heal (plus it will be less severe).
Remember that our bodies are not designed to stay in a fixed position for hours at a time. That’s why your knee feels so stiff after you’ve been driving for several hours.
The knee contains nerve which operate from electrical impulses between the brain and body.
By staying hydrated, you ensure that these impulses work as efficiently as possible. This tip may or may not work for you, but it’s worth a try.
If you have chronic knee pain after driving each day, then it’s probably gas pedal knee. It’s a common condition that affects people who drive a lot.
It can be healed, but not without dedicating yourself. Aside from drinking more water, make sure that you’re staying conscious of your posture while driving.
Specifically, try to keep your foot flat on the center of the gas/brake pedal. This will ensure that everything is aligned and that you don’t develop pain afterwards.
If you have any questions about gas pedal knee, then leave it in the comments section below.