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LarryD517

Annoying leg pain while driving...yoga related???

17 posts in this topic

I know this sounds bizarre, but I thought I'd ask.

I used to be able to drive 4 hour non-stop without any difficulty. 

Lately, if I drive for more than 30-40 minutes, I have an annoying muscular pain by the top of the hamstring (where it attaches to the butt muscles). It's only the right side, but that could be because of the position the leg is in while driving.

When possible, I turn on cruise control so I can move my leg around, but eventually, I look for a place to stop and stretch my legs (if you see someone doing rag doll on the side of the highway, say "Hi Larry!"...if you see someone doing handstands on the side of the road, that's not me, it's Candace).

Generally speaking, I'm in better shape now (I started doing yoga daily 8 months ago) than ever.

I can't believe it would be related to yoga...especially since I feel great after each practice, but I thought it odd that the discomfort came around as I started yoga.

Has anyone experienced such a situation?

Thanks!

YogaByCandace and mimisouth like this

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I used to get an ache in a similar spot in my left leg after lots of clutch action (yay, traffic), but I don't drive that often, maybe once a month or so. I think even sitting as a passenger I used to get this because I would sit with one leg more extended / stretched out than the other when we had 6 hour drives as weekend trips. This would make sense for your right leg since you are hitting gas or brake.

 

Some random hypotheses:

 

Is this related to sciata nerve? Does pigeon pose stretch the spot that hurts for you when you get home?  I kept doing that when I had that pain act up.  

 

It could be posture related, but in a good way. If you adjusted your posture while sitting and driving, and your spine has lengthened due to yoga practice, you might be working new muscle groups that need to build up the same endurance your old position did for the previous 4 hour excursions.

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...Is this related to sciata nerve? ...

Yes, that's the spot

 
 
 

...Does pigeon pose stretch the spot that hurts for you when you get home?  I...

Pigeon is okay (it's annoying, but it's okay I can get pretty deep into the pose). The muscle/nerve doesn't bother me when I do it.

 

Assuming it's sciatica (and a lot of the web reading I just did points to the same discomfort)...what is the best yogic (is that a word?) solution? Please don't suggest splits, headstands or scorpion, thank you

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Candace already thought of this! I liked doing this video for lower back issues, too.  

 

There are other articles by yoga journal for specific poses, but I didn't test them out so I can't recommend which ones I like.

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Watched that video and a few others. Been looking at many images and web pages, having searched the topic, came to the conclusion that 90% of yoga seems to be good for sciatica. I think my daily routine covers many/most of the suggested poses (of course with the exception of the wide split in Candace's video...not in this lifetime!...LOL)

Will focus on driving posture (sitting up straighter) and hip alignment (trying to balance the seated posture and at times, focus on the left hip to alleviate pressure on the right side).

Thanks for pointing out the sciatica as a good place to focus on

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I felt an awful "snap" right there once during a bikram class. I saw spots and almost fainted! The hamstring where it meets the sitbone was where I felt it. Anyway, I think that was almost 2 years ago if I'm correct and it still plays up every yoga class and every time I exercise, even just simple squats! I'm not certain mine is sciatica because I can pinpoint the actual moment I injured it but wow, I am so sick of being butthurt in the literal sense!!! I'm considering a physiotherapist to help me out. Thankfully I'm in Australia so I think I'm using the opposite side while driving meaning I'm pretty comfortable driving, just not moving. From memory when I thought I had sciatica years ago apparently it should subside after a few months and core and stretching exercises are good, so us yogis are already onto something good :)

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.... From memory when I thought I had sciatica years ago apparently it should subside after a few months and core and stretching exercises are good, so us yogis are already onto something good :)

I hops so, but was wondering...if all the stuff I do in my daily routine is good for sciatica...why has it become an issue?

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Take note of how you sit throughout the day - not just driving, but all the time. Are you leaning over to one side as you drive? Do you keep your wallet in your back pocket? Do you always cross one leg at your desk and not the other, thereby throwing yourself off balance? Look for other areas in your life where you might be making things off balance. It may be coincidental that it started when you started yoga? Finally, remember that everything is connected so even though you may feel it in your hamstrings, often times hamstring issues are a result of a low back issue or weak abs or even sometimes a knee issue. Who knows, if you're super tight in the inner thighs and hate doing the splits (and I don't blame you, woof, they're the worst), then maybe you should try to focus on just a few minutes each day and seeing if that helps because you never know, it could be related. Keep us posted!

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Take note of how you sit throughout the day -...

 

... and seeing if that helps because you never know, it could be related. Keep us posted!

Thank you, yoga goddess :13:!

When driving, I used to slouch a little, now I am trying to sit up really straight, creating a hollow in the small of my back. By forcing my hips back and tilting my pelvis forward, my legs are at a slightly different angle. I don't keep a wallet in my back pocket (even if I did, there's not enough money there to make a difference... LOL!). I've also been trying to lean onto my left hip, lightening the pressure on the right hip.

As to how I sit at the office...well, let's just say I'll never win a good posture award. I vary from leaning on my left hip (attempting to release pressure on the right side), to a slouch (not proud) to a bent knee (image),

post-549-0-82914400-1438366998_thumb.jpg

(stretches the hamstring)

I found a yoga fix pose that I try occasionally, right leg over left knee...sit up straight and with head high lean forward

I think the next time you're in NJ, you should stop by and follow me around for the day so you can see if you observe anything...okay?  :35:

 

P.S. I just figured out how to adjust my office seat to provide better posture support

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I tend to sit away from the back of my chair to try to use my core more rather than relying on back support of the chair. I've definitely noticed it helps me not feel so stiff in the back by the time it's time to head home. I guess then we hop in the car, it's a lot of time sitting!

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I found a yoga fix pose that I try occasionally, right leg over left knee...sit up straight and with head high lean forward

 

 

This sounds like pigeon pose in a chair - 1st photo (sorry, tried to post the photo but said i'm not allowed?!)

or the upright version of this.

 

Either way, great stretches to do to help!! I would do as Jasmine suggested and sit away from the back of the chair if you can. Or maybe try one of these? :)

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This sounds like pigeon pose in a chair - 1st photo (sorry, tried to post the photo but said i'm not allowed?!)

or the upright version of this....

 

post-549-0-95899700-1438714070_thumb.jpg

 

post-549-0-43650300-1438714060_thumb.png

 

Yup! That's it,...how come I have more permissions than you??? ...and why do you put "cow face" on a picture of you???  ...I've seen many cows in my day and I promise you, none of them are nearly as pretty as you are!  :)

 

...but still think that this would be the best solution...

 

... the next time you're in NJ, you should stop by and follow me around for the day so you can see if you observe anything...okay?  

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When I do this, the right knee wants to come down. Should I adjust my hips to keep the knee high or let it come down a bit?

Down

 

Don't forget to breathe.

What does the backbend (or less slouching) do? Lengthens the torso and makes more room for the lungs to expand.

Opening the hip - seated pigeon makes more room in the lower torso. This is very important.

 

Breathing into the belly is a calming breathe. Breathing into the upper chest is an exciting, energetic breathe. Restricted breathing is always bad for us. 

 

Comments are better received when they are respectful of others.

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When I do this, the right knee wants to come down. Should I adjust my hips to keep the knee high or let it come down a bit?

I would let it come down - try to have the hips even, but lean forward so you're essentially in the position of standing pigeon,1st pic in the series. Alternatively, you could totally just get up off the chair and do standing pigeon- might give better relief? Not sure. Hope that helps!

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...What does the backbend (or less slouching) do?...

There is no pain, it feels good, although the only pain presents itself while driving the car for more than 30 minutes, so I'm not sure if this week's exercises and stretching has had any effect.

 

... you could totally just get up off the chair and do standing pigeon- might give better relief? Not sure. Hope that helps!

Chair sitting really isn't an issue (mainly because I rarely sit in one position for more than a few minutes)

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