Driving With a Pillow to Relieve Hip Pain

Hip pain can have many causes. The hip joint is a complex joint with a number of supporting tendons, ligaments and muscles. A weakness in any of the supporting structures can cause pain. Arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, muscle strain and nerve irritation can also be potential sources of hip pain. Driving can exacerbate hip pain and a pillow may provide relief in some situations.

If you have hip pain, driving can be uncomfortable. (Image: Rostislav_Sedlacek/iStock/Getty Images)

About the Hip Joint

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, which allows a wide range of movements. Muscles, tendons and ligaments in the buttock and upper thigh provide the leverage to accomplish all of these movements. If any of the muscles become strained or inflamed, hip pain can result. The hip joint also has fluid-filled sacs called bursae that help cushion the joint when you walk or run. These bursae can become inflamed and cause pain in the hip.

Preventing Hip Pain

The most common cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis, which results from wear and tear on the hip joint. Problems in the lower back, such as lumbar muscle spasm, can cause hip pain because the two areas share nerves that can become irritated. A number of strategies be followed to relieve or decrease hip pain. Good body mechanics are important to prevent reinjury. Avoid activities that require you to spread the hips widely. Avoid prolonged sitting and limit repeated bending at the hip.

A Pillow for the Back

Driving creates stress on the lower back that can exacerbate hip pain. A pillow to support the lumbar area can relieve some pain. If you are using a pillow to support your lower back, be sure it is snug against the lumbar area. If you carry your wallet in a back pocket, remove it before sitting on the pillow; the wallet can cause your pelvis to twist and this will stress the back.

Sitting on a Pillow

If you are short, a pillow on top of the seat can improve your ergonomic position and decrease strain on the hips and back. A pillow may also decrease the type of road vibration that can exacerbate hip pain. The pillow should evenly support the entire thigh and not put any pressure on the backs of your knees. A pillow that presses unevenly can restrict circulation and cause more pain. Angle the seat and adjust the pillow so your knees are even with or slightly lower than your hips.

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