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Gas Pedal Knee

I’m sure you’ve heard of tennis elbow, writer’s cramp, and even smokers cough, but have you ever heard of gas pedal knee? It’s an actual condition, and becoming a growing problem in America as people spend extensive amounts of time in their cars. We’re going to take a look at what exactly gas pedal knee is, and what you can do to treat it.

Gas Pedal Knee Defined

If you’re like most Americans, your car is your second home. You’re there for long commutes to work, visiting family on the weekends, taking the kids to soccer practice and unfortunately, getting stuck in traffic. During those trips, your foot is constantly going back and forth between the gas and brake pedals with varying degrees of pressure in varying positions. If you repeatedly use bad positioning for that pressure from your right foot, it may start to show signs of pointing farther outward than the left foot when you stand, walk, or run. If that happens, it can cause pressure on your knee that leads to muscular imbalances, and ultimately pain.

Changes

Just like most ailments, treating a condition like gas pedal knee that is caused by repetitive movements or postures, the opposite must be done to prevent or treat it. For gas pedal knee, the issue comes from an imbalanced foot on the gas pedal from poor leg and foot positioning. The easiest way to correct this problem is to practice laying your foot flat in the center of the pedal. It’s easy to get lazy with this and allow your knee to fall in a resting position and your foot to be on the outside of the pedal rather than in the center. There are also other things you can do throughout the day to help such as being conscious of your posture, feet positioning, and body alignment when doing everyday things like standing in line at the grocery store or walking the dog.

Treatment

If the pain you are experiencing while driving is recurring, you should have your knees evaluated by a medical professional. The earlier you have your knees evaluated, the better, since early symptoms of serious diseases such as Osteoarthritis are often very mild or even completely silent. Reflex offers a wide variety of treatments including cutting-edge platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or Stem Cell Transplantation that not only relieve pain in the short term, but promote overall knee health, helping prevent more serious issues in the long-term. If you have recurring knee pain while driving, or are just interested in learning more about your knees and treatment options, you can schedule an appointment to meet with a Reflex knee specialist.

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Exercises

The main thing you want to accomplish when exercising and stretching for gas pedal knee is to increase your lower right leg flexibility to match that of the left leg. To do so, sit on a chair and cross your legs by putting your right ankle on your left thigh. Grab your right foot with one hand and just below your right knee with the other and pull upwards until you feel it stretch with the foot pointing towards the ceiling. Once you get your leg and foot in that position, let go with your hands and hold that position as long as you can comfortably. Instructions on how to do this exercise can be found here.  This will help increase the flexibility in the right leg, restoring muscular balance with the left.

As with any repetitive use injury, stopping the action that causes the pain should be the first order of business. Try to cut down on drive time if possible, you could walk to places close by or take public transit. Our bodies have an amazing ability to adjust to anything we do repeatedly, and unfortunately that can result in pain sometimes. Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any treatment plan, but these simple steps could help you alleviate the pain caused by gas pedal knee in a short amount of time.