Playing your favorite tunes, eating junk food, and chatting with your friends and family in the car is a great way to spend time traveling and visiting new sights. All can be very magical and fun. Of course, many of us, after a couple of hours of sitting in a car, begin to get cranky with soreness in our feet, legs, and back. The driver, especially, develops foot problems as well. Why?
Pain that Slowly Creeps Up
Driving or just being a passenger can lead to significant foot pain. Dr. Mark Forman, DPM, M.B.A, FSPWCA states that sitting causes a shortening of our calf muscles, which in turn, causes tightening in our Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Additionally as we sit for prolonged periods of time, we limit the blood circulation from our legs to our feet. What’s the effect? SWOLLEN ANKLES and VARICOSE VEINS, not to mention, leg cramps, aching pain, itchiness, and skin discoloration. These are problems no one wants to face.
Drivers have it worse! Not only do drivers face the same pain as passengers or anyone who sits too long, but the extra foot pressure on the pedal and the tightening of the grip on the steering wheel adds additional pain. When our body is tense, the blood flow restricts, causing pain and swelling throughout our bodies. Pain is most often first felt in the back of the heel and slowly wraps around the entire foot.
Plantar Fasciitis is a common ailment for drivers. As we press down on the pedals, our foot is in an unnatural position causing extra exertion from our ligaments and tendons. Tendonitis is also common as our ankle does a lot of movement that is not normal. Symptoms of tendonitis include: pain, tenderness, and soreness around the joint. In fact, many people experience swelling as well.
Bursitis is another ailment resulting from long distance driving. When pushing down on the pedals consistently, our feet begin to inflame with fluid-filled sacs between the toe joints.
How to Rectify This Pain?
At Put Your Feet First, we recommend taking many breaks/stops along your journey. The more often you step out of the car and walk, the better your circulation will be and the less pain you’ll endure. Additionally, passengers are able to elevate their feet during the drive allowing for less blood flow constriction. Dr. Mark Forman also recommends massaging your legs and feet often which assists with blood flow from your back all the way to your feet.
As for driver’s, Dr. Forman suggests wearing supportive shoes that match your arch. High heeled shoes or shoes with narrow toe areas restrict blood flow causing a greater chance in developing tendonitis and bursitis issues.
Ways of Preventing Driving-Caused Foot Injuries
Constantly having to push down on the pedal can worsen your pain, causing bursitis (an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs between your toe joints), or even lead to bone bruises on your toe bones.
The type of shoes you wear while driving can also cause pain to the ball of your foot. Orthotics are inserts that are molded to your feet providing optimal support and thus, helping you curve foot pain.
At Put Your Feet First, we mold your feet electronically, and use the latest high quality lab to create your specialized insert. These inserts last for at least two years and help prevent many possible foot injuries. As a plus….most insurance companies pay for it. This is the least intrusive process that leads to years of happiness!
MLS Laser Treatment
Laser Therapy is a non-surgical method utilizing a light that penetrates the foot down to the cellular level. It reduces inflammation and breaks away dead cells allowing for new cell growth and tissue to form.
Most chronic issues such as plantar fasciitis and bursitis take about six to eight treatments to be cured. The staff at Put Your Feet First will provide you with specific exercises and treatments to do in conjunction with laser treatment, so you can have maximum benefit with the least amount of laser sessions as possible.
Dr. Forman and his highly qualified team at Put Your Feet First can offer many foot exercises to help circumvent any future pain due to driving or the like. Visit us for a consultation and learn how to prevent ongoing or future painl!
We at Put Your Feet First want to ensure that foot pain does not prevent you from engaging in fun road trips.
We are here to help you by putting YOUR FEET FIRST! Visit us or call (480.432.8400) us to schedule an appointment today.