Truck drivers spend hours at a time in their trucks going to their destination. This means they remain in the same position as the driver. Remaining in one position for so long can cause problems with your body, especially when you sit in an unnatural position, like when driving. Driver’s knee is one of the most problematic and common problems with truck drivers, and here’s everything you need to know about it.
What Is Driver’s Knee
Driver’s knee is a very complex injury, but it relates to the tendons in your leg and knee and how sitting in one position for too long can cause stress and injure the tendons. Simply put, staying in the unnatural position of driving a vehicle for too long can cause your tendons to strain and damage them. This leads to driver’s knee as it worsens, and the strain grows in your leg.
Symptoms of Driver’s Knee
To help you better understand driver’s knee, you should understand the symptoms of the condition. While people will experience different symptoms and intensities, a few symptoms almost always accompany driver’s knee.
The first thing you should know is about the intense pain that comes with this condition. Your tendons are very sensitive, and damaging them can lead to intense pain in your knee, which many people describe as a sharp burning sensation in and around the knee.
Tendon damage is a big deal, and your body will react accordingly. This frequently means your knee will swell up due to the damage, increasing the pain and making it difficult to walk and move your knee.
Increased Pain During Movement
Someone with driver’s knee needs to get a diagnosis and follow the treatment for the condition as quickly as possible. Ignoring the proper treatment for driver’s knee can worsen the symptoms and make it difficult to do normal daily activities. Pain and swelling may increase over time, making activities like walking and sitting painful and difficult.
While the symptoms of driver’s knee can feel horrible, there are ways to deal with them to at least lower the impact of the condition. To help you tackle the significant symptoms of pain and inflammation, here are a few things other drivers do when dealing with this issue.
Ice the Area
One of the best things you can do to help your body alleviate the pain is to ice the pained area. This will likely sting at first, but a few minutes of ice can help lessen the pain you feel in the area. Additionally, icing a place with inflammation can help lower the swelling while lowering the pain in your knee. Don’t put ice directly on your skin; use an ice pack or some other medical tool meant for icing your body safely, and always follow the directions that come with these devices.
Depending on the level of swelling and pain, this may be difficult and unsafe to do. But some light stretches focusing on your knee can help relieve the tension in the tendons. This can result in less pain after the stretches, but overstretching can increase the pain, so be careful if you do some stretching and never push yourself.
One of the most effective methods to deal with the symptoms of driver’s knee is to use pain medication. A lot of pain medication can lessen the discomfort and decrease swelling simultaneously, alleviating both significant symptoms at once. However, you should never take medication without consulting a medical professional to ensure it’s safe for you.
Preventing Driver’s Knee
While these methods can help you deal with driver’s knee and the symptoms that come with it, your best bet is to prevent it in the first place. Driver’s knee is similar to a repetitive stress injury in many ways, so there are things you can do to avoid the injuries. Here’s a look at some of the most successful practices that can help prevent driver’s knee.
Do what you can to move your leg so it’s not in the same position for too long, as that causes strain. Take regular and frequent breaks when driving so your legs can stretch and alleviate some of the stress built up during the drive. Doing this frequently enough can help your leg stay in good condition while you’re on the road.
Always take the time to adjust the seat in your vehicle to optimize it for the best sitting and leg position. Good seat positioning will relieve stress in your body and knee, which will help prevent driver’s knee.
Cushioning is another essential part of offsetting stress in your body during a long drive. An uncomfortable seat can cause more strain in your knee and lead to driver’s knee. This is why it’s worth it to invest in your long-haul truck seats, as they can help prevent long-lasting injuries.
One thing you can do outside of your drives is to exercise and keep your muscles loose and strong. Using your muscles in different ways can help strengthen them to withstand the stress from the drive. Additionally, a light workout is a great way to stretch your tendons during a driving break; just be careful and know how to avoid hurting your body.
A vital part of preventing driver’s knee is catching the signs early so you can make changes before it worsens. Going to regular checkups for your health and your knee can help you identify problems well in advance.
Treating Driver’s Knee
There are many treatments for driver’s knee, from physical therapy to brace support to surgeries. It all depends on the severity of the injury and what your body needs to recover. However, you should always consult your doctor when deciding on a treatment and response to driver’s knee.
This is what you should know about driver’s knee and how you can address it. Knowing this information can help you identify early signs, and consulting your doctor frequently can help you deal with it. Before you make any lifestyle changes, you should always consult with your doctor to ensure it won’t damage your health further.