Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Posted by Ellen M on 4/03/02 at 06:04 (078316)

I have been diagnosed with PF and the one thing that seems certain is if I drive my car for a particularly long amount of time I get excruciating pain, the PF is in my right foot. I have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee and it seems to be the gas pedal is at weird angle for my foot driving, it is very uncomfortable, just wondering if anyone else has had the same problem.

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Suzanne D on 4/03/02 at 08:16 (078325)

Dear Ellen,

Last June when my PF began, my left foot hurt ALL the time. It was almost at its worst when I was driving my husband's car. It was not as bad when I drove my van, I suppose because in the car my legs are stretched out (I have long legs), with my heel bearing a lot of the weight. It would throb and I would constantly be shuffling my left leg around trying to get a more comfortable position for it. In the van, I am sitting much higher, and my legs come down straight and don't have to be stretched out at an angle, so it is better.

I can't say that I think that caused my problems, but it certainly didn't help. For many years I drove a small car 50 miles to work, round trip, and I didn't have a van then. Who knows, that could have contributed.

Good luck to you in getting better!

Suzanne :-)

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Rich on 4/03/02 at 08:22 (078329)

Can't say that that causes me any additional pain, but stay from a stick shift! Thank God for automatic transmissions! LOL

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

DavidP on 4/03/02 at 08:31 (078333)

I, too, have PF for the last 12 months and it happened after being stuck in a snowstorm where I had to drive for 6 straight hours. Two days later, the pain in my heel began and hasn't subsided (see my posting dated 4/2/02 - Is orthotripsy the next step?). Since I have to drive 160 miles roundtrip, it only aggravates the problem on my right heel when resting on the accelerator. Cruise control helps, but the pain is still present.

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Sharon W on 4/03/02 at 08:34 (078334)

Rich, Ellen,

I agree about stick shifts! I bought a new Toyota Echo in January 2001, before my foot became a problem, and I specially ordered a stick shift because I've always preferred them. I love my little car, but driving it can be AGONY, especially if it's a long trip through traffic!

-- Sharon

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Carmen H on 4/03/02 at 08:40 (078335)

DITTO Sharon...my 10 hour trip to North Carolina was brutal on the feet!

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 12:11 (078355)

I stopped buying stick shifts back in the 80's when my multiple sclerosis had me driving one-armed. I'm so glad! Even though stick shifts are SO much fun to drive, and probably more fuel efficient, there have been several times when I was glad I now have an automatic (Camry Solara).

I've noticed when driving from New Orleans to Lafayette, where Rich lives (about a two hour drive) that it is rough on the PF of my right foot. In fact, I cancelled out on at least one visit I had promised, because my PF was too severe at the time to drive there. I could have done it but I would have wished I hadn't.

I should probably use the cruise control, but I never do due to a probably irrational fear of cruise control. Sometimes I'll use my left foot for a moment instead of my right foot, just to rest it, but that's not easy to do!

Carole C

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 12:14 (078357)

David, if you still have to drive 160 miles roundtrip, I hope that you are very cautious about the shoes you choose to wear while driving. Even with the best shoes this probably is rough on your feet but it could be really devastating with the wrong shoes.

Carole C

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

BrianG on 4/03/02 at 13:36 (078368)

Hi Ellen,

I'm going to throw in my two cents, since driving is one of the most painful things I do. 1.5 years ago I finally broke down and bought an automatic, with cruise and air. Three thing I had never had before. I now use that cruise control at least 90% of the time, even in local traffic.

Also, for the last couple of years, I've been putting a nice thick piece of packing foam on the floor, under my feet. It's usually about 2 inches thick. When not using the pedals, I can bring my feet back, and rest them on the foam. My PF is no better, but I really believe this is keeping it from getting worse. The cruise may be a little awkward to use at first, but with a little practice it is very effective. The only draw back to me, is that I loose a little gas milage this way. I'll take that trade off. Good luck

BrianG

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

adam p on 4/03/02 at 19:36 (078396)

I have to ask did you, at any time have to get out and push your car?

AP

Re: TOYOTA ECHO ??? Me too!!!

Valerie S on 4/03/02 at 19:54 (078402)

Sharon --

I purchased a 2000 Toyota Echo in September 2000, also waited for a stick-shift... that car sure has some 'get up and go!' ... Boy do I wish for cruise control now, and yes driving long trips can be agony... When my PF was at its worst, the mere action of moving my foot from the gas to the brake pedal would make me cry out in pain (you know, that taking your foot off the floor thing... OUCH!)

When I am driving for a little while and I feel my calves getting tight (something about that angle of the pedal or something, I don't know...), I get out and stretch gently before moving on. I found that if I keep driving through the pain, it gets so bad I don't even want to walk anymore. I am not positive because my PF is not linked with a certain date or event, but I think my pain started shortly after switching to this car from a Chevy Lumina Sedan (with cruise air tilt)...

Wonder how many other Echo drivers have developed PF? It only takes 3 people to file a class action lawsuit... hee hee. Of course I was also working 45 hours a week on my feet with concrete floors when I finally developed PF, so it would be pretty hard to make a connection, but it sure is a coincidence that we both got it after buying the exact same car!

Good luck to you, and beep at me if you see me... mine's absolutely red.

beep beep, Val.

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/03/02 at 21:41 (078425)

One must repetitively dorsiflex the foot when driving. If there is a tight gastrosoleus/achilles complex, then such repetitive dorsiflexion could aggravate plantar fasciitis.
Ed

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Julie on 4/04/02 at 00:46 (078456)

I've always felt that long drives (specifically long spells with the foot on the accelerator pedal) are an exacerbating factor. I always feel the need to dorsiflex whenever possible, even though I have an automatic car. Automatic helps a lot, but it sounds as though cruise control would be even more helpful.

Re: TOYOTA ECHO ??? Me too!!!

Sharon W on 4/04/02 at 17:40 (078511)

Valerie,

Yeah, I know what you mean about switching from the gas pedal to the brake! My right foot is worse than the left, and I have TTS too, so it gets pretty bad sometimes. There have been times when I had to pull off to the side of the road and rest my foot a while before I continued, because the pain had reached the point where it would be dangerous to stay on the road!

But I still love my little car; I had an 'argument' with an 18-wheeler about 6 months ago, and the 18-wheeler WON -- but Misty (that's my car; she's sleek and silver) DID NOT let me down, I never lost control of her on the road even though we were going 70 mph, and I'm sure that's why we're still alive today!

-- Sharon

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

DavidP on 4/05/02 at 10:31 (078571)

Good point, Carole. I do wear extra-wide shoes (New Balance) and always wear my orthopedic insoles. Thanks.

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

DavidP on 4/05/02 at 10:32 (078572)

Only when I run out of gas ;-)

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

JudyS on 4/05/02 at 10:43 (078576)

Ellen, I can tell you for sure that having to use the clutch pedal on my standard-shift car exacerbated the PF in my left foot. And any road trip without cruise control or in stop and go traffic is very difficult for the right foot.

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Suzanne D on 4/03/02 at 08:16 (078325)

Dear Ellen,

Last June when my PF began, my left foot hurt ALL the time. It was almost at its worst when I was driving my husband's car. It was not as bad when I drove my van, I suppose because in the car my legs are stretched out (I have long legs), with my heel bearing a lot of the weight. It would throb and I would constantly be shuffling my left leg around trying to get a more comfortable position for it. In the van, I am sitting much higher, and my legs come down straight and don't have to be stretched out at an angle, so it is better.

I can't say that I think that caused my problems, but it certainly didn't help. For many years I drove a small car 50 miles to work, round trip, and I didn't have a van then. Who knows, that could have contributed.

Good luck to you in getting better!

Suzanne :-)

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Rich on 4/03/02 at 08:22 (078329)

Can't say that that causes me any additional pain, but stay from a stick shift! Thank God for automatic transmissions! LOL

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

DavidP on 4/03/02 at 08:31 (078333)

I, too, have PF for the last 12 months and it happened after being stuck in a snowstorm where I had to drive for 6 straight hours. Two days later, the pain in my heel began and hasn't subsided (see my posting dated 4/2/02 - Is orthotripsy the next step?). Since I have to drive 160 miles roundtrip, it only aggravates the problem on my right heel when resting on the accelerator. Cruise control helps, but the pain is still present.

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Sharon W on 4/03/02 at 08:34 (078334)

Rich, Ellen,

I agree about stick shifts! I bought a new Toyota Echo in January 2001, before my foot became a problem, and I specially ordered a stick shift because I've always preferred them. I love my little car, but driving it can be AGONY, especially if it's a long trip through traffic!

-- Sharon

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Carmen H on 4/03/02 at 08:40 (078335)

DITTO Sharon...my 10 hour trip to North Carolina was brutal on the feet!

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 12:11 (078355)

I stopped buying stick shifts back in the 80's when my multiple sclerosis had me driving one-armed. I'm so glad! Even though stick shifts are SO much fun to drive, and probably more fuel efficient, there have been several times when I was glad I now have an automatic (Camry Solara).

I've noticed when driving from New Orleans to Lafayette, where Rich lives (about a two hour drive) that it is rough on the PF of my right foot. In fact, I cancelled out on at least one visit I had promised, because my PF was too severe at the time to drive there. I could have done it but I would have wished I hadn't.

I should probably use the cruise control, but I never do due to a probably irrational fear of cruise control. Sometimes I'll use my left foot for a moment instead of my right foot, just to rest it, but that's not easy to do!

Carole C

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 12:14 (078357)

David, if you still have to drive 160 miles roundtrip, I hope that you are very cautious about the shoes you choose to wear while driving. Even with the best shoes this probably is rough on your feet but it could be really devastating with the wrong shoes.

Carole C

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

BrianG on 4/03/02 at 13:36 (078368)

Hi Ellen,

I'm going to throw in my two cents, since driving is one of the most painful things I do. 1.5 years ago I finally broke down and bought an automatic, with cruise and air. Three thing I had never had before. I now use that cruise control at least 90% of the time, even in local traffic.

Also, for the last couple of years, I've been putting a nice thick piece of packing foam on the floor, under my feet. It's usually about 2 inches thick. When not using the pedals, I can bring my feet back, and rest them on the foam. My PF is no better, but I really believe this is keeping it from getting worse. The cruise may be a little awkward to use at first, but with a little practice it is very effective. The only draw back to me, is that I loose a little gas milage this way. I'll take that trade off. Good luck

BrianG

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

adam p on 4/03/02 at 19:36 (078396)

I have to ask did you, at any time have to get out and push your car?

AP

Re: TOYOTA ECHO ??? Me too!!!

Valerie S on 4/03/02 at 19:54 (078402)

Sharon --

I purchased a 2000 Toyota Echo in September 2000, also waited for a stick-shift... that car sure has some 'get up and go!' ... Boy do I wish for cruise control now, and yes driving long trips can be agony... When my PF was at its worst, the mere action of moving my foot from the gas to the brake pedal would make me cry out in pain (you know, that taking your foot off the floor thing... OUCH!)

When I am driving for a little while and I feel my calves getting tight (something about that angle of the pedal or something, I don't know...), I get out and stretch gently before moving on. I found that if I keep driving through the pain, it gets so bad I don't even want to walk anymore. I am not positive because my PF is not linked with a certain date or event, but I think my pain started shortly after switching to this car from a Chevy Lumina Sedan (with cruise air tilt)...

Wonder how many other Echo drivers have developed PF? It only takes 3 people to file a class action lawsuit... hee hee. Of course I was also working 45 hours a week on my feet with concrete floors when I finally developed PF, so it would be pretty hard to make a connection, but it sure is a coincidence that we both got it after buying the exact same car!

Good luck to you, and beep at me if you see me... mine's absolutely red.

beep beep, Val.

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/03/02 at 21:41 (078425)

One must repetitively dorsiflex the foot when driving. If there is a tight gastrosoleus/achilles complex, then such repetitive dorsiflexion could aggravate plantar fasciitis.
Ed

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

Julie on 4/04/02 at 00:46 (078456)

I've always felt that long drives (specifically long spells with the foot on the accelerator pedal) are an exacerbating factor. I always feel the need to dorsiflex whenever possible, even though I have an automatic car. Automatic helps a lot, but it sounds as though cruise control would be even more helpful.

Re: TOYOTA ECHO ??? Me too!!!

Sharon W on 4/04/02 at 17:40 (078511)

Valerie,

Yeah, I know what you mean about switching from the gas pedal to the brake! My right foot is worse than the left, and I have TTS too, so it gets pretty bad sometimes. There have been times when I had to pull off to the side of the road and rest my foot a while before I continued, because the pain had reached the point where it would be dangerous to stay on the road!

But I still love my little car; I had an 'argument' with an 18-wheeler about 6 months ago, and the 18-wheeler WON -- but Misty (that's my car; she's sleek and silver) DID NOT let me down, I never lost control of her on the road even though we were going 70 mph, and I'm sure that's why we're still alive today!

-- Sharon

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

DavidP on 4/05/02 at 10:31 (078571)

Good point, Carole. I do wear extra-wide shoes (New Balance) and always wear my orthopedic insoles. Thanks.

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

DavidP on 4/05/02 at 10:32 (078572)

Only when I run out of gas ;-)

Re: Could driving a particular car be the culprit?

JudyS on 4/05/02 at 10:43 (078576)

Ellen, I can tell you for sure that having to use the clutch pedal on my standard-shift car exacerbated the PF in my left foot. And any road trip without cruise control or in stop and go traffic is very difficult for the right foot.