It turns out that people who languish in traffic for hours each day may end up with more than a headache and road rage. Australian news sources are reporting that the increased traffic in the country's major cities of Melbourne and Sydney has led to foot pain for commuters.
According to the Herald Sun, a condition known as "clutch foot" occurs as a result of holding pedals down for extended periods of time. The tension and repetitive motion can lead to foot problems like numbness and cramps, as well as discomfort in the ankles, knees and hips.
Drivers testify about their pain
The news source spoke with 24-year-old Tianna Nadalin, who reported numbness in her toes and lower back pain as a result of sitting in traffic during her commute, and she said that switching from a stick shift to an automatic didn't help much.
"I used to get it in peak-hour traffic pressing the pedal in all the time, so when I bought a car I chose an automatic," Nadalin said, quoted by the news source. "And sometimes I still get it when I use the brake a lot, but there is nothing you can do about it."
A podiatrist told the Herald Sun that clutch foot is similar to tennis elbow in that it results from repetitive motions done over a long period of time.
According to Amol Saxena, D.P.M., of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, driving can lead to plantar fasciitis, also known as fallen arches. He reported on the organization's website that this is because the tissue that runs on the bottom of the foot has low blood supply, so it doesn't heal as quickly as other parts of the body may.
Don't let clutch foot keep you off the road
The Herald Sun recommended altering the position of your driver's seat to provide better support for the back. Also, the news source suggested that people should attempt to use their whole foot to apply pressure to the pedal.
Remember that they don't call them driving shoes for nothing, as this kind of footwear is made especially for putting the pedal to the metal. A roomy toe box, good arch support and grips on the heel may help you hit the road sans foot pain.