Knee and Back Pain from Driving Relieved Through Stretching
Like most other Americans, I learned driving shortly after my 16th birthday. After getting my license, I drove very infrequently, mostly just to school and to run errands. I didn’t bring my car to college so my driving decreased to almost never for the next four years.
After I completed college, I moved to Boston to start my professional career. Like most working people, I began a schedule with a daily commute requiring me to drive approximately 30 minutes a day. For the first 5 years everything was completely fine. The only clue that something was wrong was at a chiropractic session. The chiropractor put light pressure on my lowest vertebra, which caused an unusual amount of soreness. I didn’t think much of it and continued my daily routine.
One day I began feeling pain in my right knee and lower right back area. Over the next few weeks the pain increased to the point of constant discomfort. I noticed the pain was the worst after driving, which led me to the conclusion that the two were directly related.
I did some research online and surprisingly there were very few articles written about such a condition. The few articles I did find gave the following suggestions: 1.) adjust the car seat position to find the optimal one, 2.) use cruise control as much as possible 3.) do weight-bearing leg exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee. I incorporated all three suggestions into my routine and saw some improvement, but the pain was still significant and increasing daily. On the weekends I tried driving less, which decreased the pain (making me almost certain that the pain was coming from driving), but it would just return when I began driving again on Monday. I was beginning to seriously worry that I would be in constant severe pain; I could not give up driving, as my job was not accessible by public transportation.
The next thing I tried really changed my life. I decided to go to a physical therapist. I had to try out a few therapists before finding the right one. Although my therapist told me that he had never heard of such a condition, he was completely open to the possibility that it was real. We first had an x-ray done of my knee and back which came back completely normal (the only thing that it revealed was a slight crookedness in my right knee). The therapist concluded that the pain must be coming from stress on the muscles around me knee. Over 6-8 weeks he taught me 3-4 simple stretches that completely alleviated the pain — entirely naturally, no medication or surgery required!
In addition to the stretches, I have incorporated the following natural remedies into my daily routine: 1.) using a special foam roller with protruding edges (available at www.thera-roll.com), 2.) meditation/reiki specializing in chi/prana circulation, 3.) consciously incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into my diet.
With the use of my daily natural regimen, I can now happily report that I am pain free. If I ever skip a day of stretches, I can feel the difference so I know it’s working.
My experience with pain has taught me that it’s completely possible to treat an acute pain condition entirely naturally!