Knee Pain When Driving | Chiropractor Explains Drivers Knee

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Why You Have Knee Pain Driving

You may be putting a lot of wear and tear on their knees as a result of driving, so be cautious to take good care of them. Some factors may contribute to this, such as bending your leg, stopping and starting, or being limited in your mobile while driving. In fact, knee pain is an unavoidable reaction to being unnaturally seated for long periods of time. If you experience knee pain while driving, here are a few ways to make your drive more comfortable!

Knee pain is commonly caused by low back problems, and it can be very serious. Since your knee muscles are controlled by nerves that start in your lower back, when you have a problem there, your knee muscles don’t function as well, resulting in knee pain. These same nerves are compressed or irritated in sciatica, starting at their origin point (i.e. where they exit the spine).

As a general rule, knee pain is usually caused by poor posture when driving.  The constant use of an unnatural driving position over time can cause pain and wear on your kneecaps.  In rare cases, chondromalacia patellae or osteoarthritis can be exacerbated with long-distance driving.

I am confident that you are in good hands. It is just the article you need if you’ve been having trouble with your knee while driving lately! Having treated knee pain for over 30 years, I will explain easy methods that will quickly and easily alleviate these symptoms. Avoiding knee pain while driving is especially important.

How to Avoid Knee Pain in Your Car

man with knee pain

A nagging pain begins to develop in your lower back because it just doesn’t seem to be the “right” position for you. Even the shortest drive can be a challenge when you have knee pain caused by your car seat.

5 Simple Steps To Avoid Knee Pain While Driving Your Car

Seat Back

Your seat should be as far back as possible. Feeling as if your bum is stuck between the seat and the back of the seat can be uncomfortable. Next, you’ll want to adjust how far the seat is from the steering wheel. Despite fully releasing the brake, your knees should remain bent slightly. Sitting should be done with an angle of around 110 to 120 degrees. Fully extended legs result in knee locking, decreasing pedal response, feeling, and raising the risk of injury in case of a collision. Driving is easier if the knees are in line with the body, and you avoid having them fall to one side. The pelvis can also be aggravated, resulting in low back, hip, drivers knee, and foot pain.

Forward Seat Tilt

The seat tilt should be adjusted forward so that the leg can be fully supported from hip to knee, if possible. As you press down on the gas pedal, be sure that your leg is not being pressed against the seat. Lower leg pressure can result in decreased circulation.

Good Back Support

If possible, adjust the seat back so that your full-back is supported. As a result, your neck is sore because you have to bend forward at an angle to see the road when the seat is too far reclined. As you sit in a car, lumbar support makes it easier to keep the spine in a natural curve. Be sure your lumbar area is supported. The same position can be attained by placing a small pillow or roll behind your lower back.

Steering Wheel Position

If possible, place the steering wheel nearby enough for your hands to reach positions 10 and 2, while your elbows are a little bent. In an accident, you don’t want it too close to your chest so that you can’t reach it, but you don’t want it too far away that you can’t reach it either. Make sure to have your hands just a little lower than your shoulders when you are driving. When driving, use both hands. When you steer with one hand you are using the weight of your hand on the wheel, which requires the use of your shoulder muscles to keep the wheel upright. If you become used to holding the wheel with one hand, you will also experience a twist of the spine.

Head Rest Position

Make sure the bottom of the headrest is even with the back of your head before adjusting it. It is important to have your headrest less than an inch from your head in order to avoid injuries.

Best Car Seat Cushion To Prevent Knee Pain latex seat posture cushion

Ideal Car Posture Wedge Features

Comfortable Foam

The ultimate choice for comfort, resilience, and alignment is natural latex. Latex foam seat cushions should be layered in to provide pressure relief as well as support.

seat cushion foam density chart

Ergonomic Shape

A good car seat cushion should have ergonomic pain-relieving contours. When sitting on a seat cushion, the ergonomic contours help support and promote good posture. 

Seat Wedge

A slope of 8-13 degrees is considered ideal for car seat wedges.

Foam Construction

As a base. Foam foundation (plus 96 kg/m3) It has a foam top. At the top of the layers lies the comfort layer (between 56 and 68 kilograms per square meter).

Avoid Memory Foam

It is advisable to avoid memory foam.  The lack of suitability for back pain would make them unsuitable for me. Memory foam lacks springiness (resilience) compared to latex, which comes from tree sap, it bottoms out, traps heat, and contains toxic substances.

Your Knee Pain May Be Caused by Sciatica

man with low back pain anatomy

Symptoms of Knee Pain From Sciatica:

  • Knee ache
  • Knee buckles
  • Around the knee, a feeling of warmth and swelling
  • Intense knee pain
  • Knee weakness
  • It can also affect your thigh, calf, buttocks, or foot in addition to your knees. You’ll most likely feel it in one leg. There will not be an accelerated effect on both knees.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is typically caused by a problem affecting your lower back, for example, a  herniated disc. Your lower back becomes irritated in one of these areas:

  • Discs
  • Nerves
  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Hamstrings Muscles
  • Tendons

Are Hamstrings or Sciatica Causing My Knee Pain?

runner with hamstring pain

As a general rule, there are many discomforts that result from hamstring pain and sciatica. Sciatic pain feels like pain in your back or buttocks, but it isn’t the same as back pain. The sciatic nerve gets irritated, and hamstring pain occurs when the muscles are too tight at either end. 

You might be feeling some tightness up near where it connects with bone (called an iliotibial band), right below where they cross over each other( called a biceps femoris) or deep within them just above their attachments onto bones such as tibia and fibula.)

Knee Pain From a Herniated Disc

man sciatica sitting office chair

If you have pain in your knee, it may be due to the L3 nerve has been compressed by a herniated disc located on the lumbar spine. This part of the spine resides near your lower back and can cause weakness as well as inflammation throughout other regions like your groin area or even thigh region.

Patellofemoral Stress and Knee Pain

woman with Chondromalacia patellae

An injury occurs when the kneecap rubs the thigh bone. This disorder is also called runner’s or drivers knee. There will be a hot feeling around the kneecap. You will not feel pain anywhere else in the leg. Unfortunately, it is often misdiagnosed as sciatica pain.


As a result of sitting unnaturally for long periods, knee pain is an unavoidable reaction to being seated. If you’ve been experiencing this discomfort while driving your car or truck, here are some ways that will make the experience more comfortable

Be sure to consult with a medical professional about what might be causing the problem and if there’s anything they can do to help. For useful ergonomic information on how best to drive without putting undue pressure on your knees visit our blog today!

**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC


My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.


Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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