Foot Pain in Truckers
Foot pain is so common among truck drivers that it is often referred to as “Driver's Foot.” Our feet, just like any other part of our body, are not meant to be stagnant for extended lengths of time. Constantly keeping one’s feet in one position while simultaneously applying pressure to stiff pedals can cause excess stress on the muscles and tendons in the feet. Over time, if the pain in a trucker’s feet is not managed or treated, it can worsen or even lead to discomfort in the knees, hips, or back. Keep reading to learn more about why you may be experiencing foot pain and how you may be able to alleviate it.
Common Types of Foot Pain
There are many different kinds of foot pain that truck drivers may experience:
- Pain in the top of the foot
- Ankle pain and stiffness
- Toe joint pain
- Pain or bruising in the heel
- General burning/tingling throughout the foot
- Pain or stiffness in the Achilles Tendon
If you experience any of the aforementioned foot discomfort, you may be suffering from Driver's Foot, also commonly known as “Accelerator Foot” or “Clutch Foot”.
Causes of Foot Pain for Truckers
While the most common cause of foot discomfort for truck drivers is lack of movement below the waist, below are some additional factors that may contribute to foot pain:
Driving a truck that has a manual transmission, which is most freight trucks, puts strain on both of your feet. Neither of your feet get much rest or range of motion since you use your right foot for gas and braking, and your left foot for the clutch while driving a manual transmission.
Some semi truck pedals feel stiff, meaning truck drivers may have to put more pressure on them than normal. The extra pressure required to move the pedal can easily strain feet and ankles.
Lack of Cruise Control
When driving a hauler that does not have cruise control, you are constantly pushing down on the pedal(s). This consistently applied pressure and remaining in one position for long hauls can contribute to foot discomfort.
Maintaining proper posture while driving is important for all parts of the body, including the feet. If your seat is not in a comfortable and appropriate position, you may also feel discomfort when operating the pedals, which can cause additional strain on your feet.
Wearing uncomfortable or unsupportive shoes can also lead to additional discomfort or pain while driving.
Solutions for Foot Pain
While foot pain may often be disregarded, it is very easy to manage. Below are some of our favorite simple solutions for alleviating foot pain.
Sit in a Comfortable Position
As previously mentioned, sitting in an uncomfortable position may result in additional strain on your feet and ankles. When preparing your semi truck for a haul, make sure that you adjust your seat so that your entire body, including your feet, is comfortable.
Take Rest Stops
An easy way to alleviate foot pain while driving is to move your feet. We cannot stress the importance of taking adequate rest stops to move and stretch your body enough. Even if you are just sitting in traffic, take a few seconds to stretch and flex each foot to prevent the muscles and joints from getting too tight or stiff.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Wearing comfortable, durable shoes is key in ensuring that your feet are supported while driving. If you experience foot pain when driving in your everyday sneakers, it may be wise to look into new shoes or shoe inserts.
Engage in Proper Exercises
If simple stretches are not enough to help alleviate foot pain, it may be time to talk to a physical therapist about special foot exercises. Most exercises can be done from anywhere with no equipment required.
Ice Your Feet
If you are experiencing foot pain, we always suggest icing and elevating your feet at the end of a drive. At the very least, this should help alleviate some pain and relieve some inflammation or swelling.
Get A Good Night's Sleep
Studies show that the body is more susceptible to pain when it does not get adequate sleep. Even a small change in your sleep pattern can impact your pain tolerance. Since the mattresses that generally come equipped with sleeper cabs are not the most comfortable, purchasing a replacement truck mattress such as the SleepDog® Mattress or the BigDawg Mattress™ may be just the support you need to manage your pain. It is so important to sleep on a mattress that properly supports the back. Strain from the back can lead to discomfort in other parts of the body, including the feet.
For a profession that requires a lot of sitting, truck driving brings with it the risk of a lot of pain – foot pain included. As demand for drivers continues to grow, it is important for truckers to be aware of potential injuries or pain that can result from the job and not to disregard its onset. By simply getting a good night’s sleep with SleepDog®, you can help prevent or alleviate joint and muscle pain throughout the body, including in your feet. For any additional questions about discomfort as a truck driver or how SleepDog® mattresses improve over-the-road comfort, get in touch with our Customer Care team.