It is very common for truckers and long haul drivers to deal with annoying foot pain from driving, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it! Below, we’ll be running you through a quick trucker’s guide to foot pain from driving. We’ll cover common types of pain, causes, preventative measures, and even treatments. So, strap in and let’s get started!
Driver’s Foot and Common Types of Foot Pain
As we said before, foot pain from driving is extremely common in truckers. Since you are driving hundreds, even thousands of miles for long periods of time, you are more prone to this. Our feet weren’t meant for driving, they were meant for walking! So, constantly applying pressure to a stiff clutch or gas pedal puts stress on our muscles, joints, and tendons. Over time, and if not handled, this can spread and cause pain in your knees, hips, and even back.
What are a few common types of foot pain you might be asking?
Foot pain from driving might include any of the following:
- Pain across the top of your foot
- Stiffness and pain in your ankle
- Joint pain, especially in the large joint of your big toe
- Pain or bruising in the heel area or up the back of your heel
- A slight or strong burning sensation through your foot
- Pain or stiffness in your Achilles Tendon
If you are experiencing any of these, then you may also have a condition called “Driver’s Foot”. This is also known as “Accelerator Foot” or “Clutch Foot”. Clearly, this is caused by driving, but more specifically it happens when you are forced to hold your foot in one position for long periods of time. The causes, preventative measures, and treatments for these different pains will be discussed further below!
What Can Cause Truckers to Get Foot Pain?
So, what can cause this pain other than driving for long periods of time? There might just be a few very specific reasons you are dealing with foot pain from driving. These may include but aren’t limited to:
Manual Transmission: Driving a truck that is manual, which is most freight trucks, will put a strain on both of your feet as you will be using your right for gas and breaking, and your left for the clutch.
Too Much Pedal Resistance: Sometimes your pedals may be stiff, which means that you have to put more pressure than normal. This will easily strain your foot and ankle if they aren’t strong enough for the resistance.
No Cruise Control: Vehicles that don’t have cruise control require the driver to constantly be pushing the gas pedal. Remember how Driver’s Foot is developed: staying in one position for too long!
Poorly Adjusted Seating: If your seat isn’t in a comfortable position for your entire body, then you may be putting your main money makers in a weird position without even knowing it and causing them pain.
Poor Choice of Footwear: Wearing the wrong pair of shoes can also cause you discomfort or pain while driving for long periods of time
Ways to Prevent Foot Pain from Driving
But don’t fret! Although there are plenty of ways that you can develop foot pain from driving, there are also ways to prevent it. Here are 3 ways to prevent pesky foot pain.
- Adjust to be comfortable.
Like we mentioned above, you may be causing yourself to experience foot pain from driving if you aren’t adjusting your seat! When you enter the truck, make sure to adjust the seat so that your entire body is comfortable. And yes, that includes making sure the distance is good for your feet and ankles. If you are positioning your ankles and feet at a weird angle, then that is a recipe for pain.
- Your Shoes are Important
Also said above, shoes are extremely important when it comes to preventing foot pain from driving. Make sure that you are wearing comfortable, practical shoes when driving. This means wearing sneakers or running shoes that will give you plenty of cushioning and support. That’s right, truck drivers, leave your heels, flip flops, and that favorite pair of worn-out kicks at home!
- Move Around
This is a simple step to take when trying to prevent foot pain from driving and should be used in everyone’s daily lives! Make sure you take breaks to MOVE! Sitting in one position for long periods of time isn’t good for any part of your body. So, take a break from driving whenever you can. Take a walk, stretch, and flex your legs, ankles, and feet to make sure you aren’t getting stiff or tight from sitting for too long.
Treatments for Those that Already Have Pain
Sometimes we don’t think too much about preventing pain and find ourselves experiencing it. That’s where these 3 simple and easy treatments come in to play!
- Consider Enhancing Your Footwear
If normal sneakers or running shoes aren’t working to prevent the pain, then it may be time to take it another step further. To treat your pain, consider purchasing products to add extra cushion and support for your feet and ankles. Shoe pads and inserts can be purchased from local drugstores, superstores, and online retailers. Even more, thousands of reviews can be found to help you choose the best product for you.
For an absolutely perfect fit, you can also talk to a podiatrist about getting CUSTOM ORTHOTICS.
- Physical Therapy Exercises
Another way to treat foot pain from driving is to do easy physical therapy exercises that can be done anywhere, like stretching.
- Good Ole Ice
This last treatment takes us back to the tried-and-true remedy: ice and elevate. This will at least take down any swelling and alleviate some of the pain.
In the end, there are ways to prevent and treat foot pain from driving but remember that there could be an underlying problem that is being aggravated by driving. If your pain seems to persist or if nothing helps it, then you should reach out to a podiatrist and receive an evaluation.