7 Tips to Avoid Hip Pain from Driving or Sitting (and Leg Pain)

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7 Tips to Avoid Hip Pain from Driving (and Leg Pain)

Article Reviewed & Updated on 12/20/2022

Medical Reviewer: Kari Haberman

Hip and leg pain from driving is more common than you might think. People usually deal with hip pain from driving, as well as leg pain. These driving pains can worsen with time if left unattended.

However, you can minimize hip pain from driving by taking necessary care and making some changes to how you drive.

Causes of Hip Pain After Driving or Sitting

Hip pain when driving can be because of various reasons. Some people struggle with hip pain after sitting for prolonged hours, while others have it because of an impaired posture while driving.

Driving requires people to stay in the same position for a long time, which can cause serious pain in the leg, back, and hips. Some of the leading causes of hip pain after driving or sitting include:

Poor Posture

People rarely think about their posture during their day-to-day, despite it being one of the top reasons why hip and leg pain cases are increasing.

The chances of facing hip pain sitting in a car are relatively higher mainly because drivers stay in the same position for several hours. The risk increases if you sit in the wrong position while driving.

Crossing Legs

Keeping your legs crossed while sitting can add stress on one of your legs, which can cause severe pain. People with sciatica or other nerve problems are at a higher risk of facing this pain because of crossing their legs.

Sitting on an Uneven Surface

If the car seat cushion or the sofa is too soft, it may not provide sufficient support to your body. It can put extensive pressure on the joints, leading to pain in the hips and legs.

📝 Expert Tip: This is why we recommend sitting on a pressure relief wedge car cushion while driving or sitting in a car for long periods of time.


Arthritis is another common reason for hip pain after a long drive or pain in the legs after sitting for many hours.

However, it is a medical concern and requires medical assistance from professionals. Addressing the problem can minimize the pain and make your travels more comfortable.


Bursitis is the result of inflammation in tiny sacs that act as shock absorbers in the body. Hip joints can become stiff or stop moving entirely as inflammation increases. Staying in the same position for long hours can increase the risk of inflammation, which contributes to Bursitis.

Can Too Much Driving Cause Hip Pain?

Yes, there is a chance that you can get hip pain while driving long distances because the body stays in the same position for long hours. Wrong posture while driving or a bad seat can contribute to this pain.

Staying in such harmful conditions for long hours can make your body suffer and make moving around more difficult.

Experts recommend taking breaks while driving if you start feeling a pain in your hips or the legs from excessive driving. You can also stop driving for a few minutes stretch and straigten your legs.

Why does your Right Hip Hurt While Driving?

The hip flexors are in a shorter position while driving, which can increase the chances of having right hip pain while driving. Hip flexors can tighten up in this position and become weaker with time.

Thus, drivers need avoid sitting in this position for long hours. Reduces the chances of the hip flexors relaxing correctly, causing severe pain.

How to Ease Hip & Leg Pain While Driving Long Distance?

Individuals can try various methods to ease hip and leg pain while driving long distances. Some of these methods include:

• Taking breaks from driving when needed

• Not sitting in a lousy posture

• Lining your knees with the body for relaxed hip flexors

• Keeping a cushion or pillow to support your body while driving

• Performing lower back and hip flexing exercises in the car.

You can easily use these methods to ease hip and leg pain while driving long distances. However, there are more ways that you can avoid hip pain while driving.

7 Tips to Avoid Hip Pain While Driving

avoid hip pain while driving

The top tips to avoid hip pain while driving include:

#1. Sitting in a Healthy Position

Avoid slouching on the window or sitting in an uneven position to avoid pressure on the body. Additionally, avoid putting one hand on the wheel while driving, as that promotes an unhealthy posture.

Thus, drivers should try posterior tilt by:

Engaging their stomach a bit, and try to contract your glutes while sitting. You can force your heels into the ground to contract your buttocks.

#2. Stretch your Hip After Driving

Staying in one position for too long can waeaken the muscles and lead to prolonged pain in the body. Therefore, you should stretch your hips after driving.

#3. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is a significant reason for muscle pain and cramps in the body; therefore, you should ensure drinking plenty of fluids to avoid this problem.

#4. Avoid Overextending

Arching or overextending your back to relax while driving can increase the pain in your body. Therefore, drivers should keep their bodies still and avoid overextending their back.

#5. Heat your Back

Carrying a hot bag while driving may seem unnecessary, but it can help relax contracted muscles and minimize hip pain while driving.

#6. Consider Portable Ice Packs

Taking an ice pack with you while driving can be an excellent way to fight hip and leg pain in your car. It is the best way for drivers to minimize muscle tension and pain in the hips area and back.

#7. Rest Properly

People who drive for long hours should rest to avoid pain from driving. People do not take their rest seriously, so hip pain in truck drivers is standard. You should get 7-8 hours of quality sleep every day to recover from the long drive.

"How to Sit in the Car (and Exit the Car) to Avoid Hip Pain?"

You can learn how to sit in the car (and exit the car) to avoid hip pain and make it a habit today—sitting with a relaxed core while driving causes the lower back to overextend.

It shortens the hip flexors and overextends the spine, tightening the lower back. Holding your body in this position for a few seconds can relax your musles, and reduce hip and leg pain while driving.

It may take some time to learn how to sit and exit the car, but it can ensure long term muscle heatlh.

"How to Stretch Your Hips After Driving?"

Here’s how to stretch your hips after driving:

• Place your back against the wall while placing small foam on your back and moving your body against the wall. Find the spot that feels tighter, and release it after 30 seconds.

• Place the roller on your back, squat down, and find the area with the most tension. Moving the roller will minimize the pain.

• Finally, spread your legs wide while leaning on the wall and bend down to relax your hamstrings.

Bottom Line

Avoiding hip pain is not difficult if you know how the body works. You need to assist your body with practices that can help. Thus, sitting in the correct posture, getting sufficient rest, and performing back and hip relaxing exercises can help. These are simple practices but can help avoid hip and leg pain from driving.

Licensed PTA
Kimberly is a practicing Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant with 21 years of experience in the field. She is also a Freelance Writer. On her time off, she enjoys kickboxing, paddle boarding, and playing with her two Boxers, Letty and Finn. more
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