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Anyone else experiencing "Driver's Foot"

TeslaSinHR

Member
May 27, 2013
73
3
Bellevue, WA
Driver's Foot is pain or discomfort in your foot/ankle due to using the accelerator pedal a lot. Here is one reference: http://www.painful-feet.com/symptoms/foot-pain-from-driving/

I'm curious if any other drivers have developed chronic pain or discomfort in their right foot since starting to drive a Tesla Model S.

In my case, I thought I was developing a mild case of plantar fasciitis - but ONLY IN MY RIGHT FOOT. I didn't really hurt while I was driving, but it was noticeable quite often when I was walking around with no obvious connection to when I had been driving.

I would have ignored it except that I've seen how debilitating full-on plantar fasciitis can be and being a physically active person, I was totally paranoid that it would get worse. I did all the home treatments and went to a doctor, massage therapist, and even acupuncture. Didn't get better but didn't get worse either. The odd thing was that even though the location of the pain was consistent with plantar fasciitis (the bottom of the foot - especially the arch), the symptoms were worst at the end of day. Normally with PF it is worst when you first get out of bed in the morning and it loosens up as the day goes on.

This got me thinking, the symptoms kind of started after I took delivery of my Tesla about 4 months ago. Prior to that, I'd never had any foot problems. And it was only my right foot. My theory is that the "max regen / one pedal driving" may be the cause since it requires constant pressure on the accelerator and fine adjustments when you want to slow down gently - especially in city driving. Another factor is the seat is lower and my legs are more straight out in front of me (my previous car was more like sitting in a chair) thus putting more pressure on the back of my heel. One doctor said that even though the pain is in the bottom of the foot, the culprit could be a tightness in the tendons behind the heel or heel spurs.

I've turned off max regen so I just let go of the accelerator and coast & brake when approaching stops. I'm playing around with the seat adjustment and trying to be more aware of what part of my heel is resting on the floor. I thought about simply not driving the Tesla and trading cars with my wife for a week or two but that was going too far :wink:.

Interested to hear if anyone else experienced something similar.
 

William13

Active Member
Mar 19, 2011
1,003
89
South Bend
I don't have your problem, but I have had several repettitive motion injuries/pain over the years.

I had a right labrum(hip) tear that did not heal due to the way I got in and out of my Malibu. It resolved when I started to spin without using my right foot to push off.

I had left thigh phantom vibrations due to my cell phone on vibrate in my pocket.

I had sciatica from my car seat and office chair that resolved after three months of a kneeling chair at work and changing the car seat setting.

I hope you are able to resolve your issue. If the change in regen is not enough perhaps a stiffer or softer shoe is in order even though the pain is unilateral.
 
Interesting that you post this. After about 2 weeks with my MS I noticed a pain in my LEFT ankle. It was periodic and sharp. I got an MRI and saw the ortho but there was nothing that showed up. I finally adjusted the seat to be more comfortable from a foot-resting perspective and that did the trick. No more pain after that!
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
19,998
24,671
Texas
No foot/leg problems, not even on the trips to Nebraska. The only repetitive stress problem I've had is from driving the Land-Rover Series III 88. The clutch caused some real pain in the left knee area.

In the Model S I did find I had to set the steering on comfort because having it on standard was causing my right hand to hurt.
 

Cool-Model S

Member
Dec 9, 2012
98
1
Portland
I don't have plantar fasciitis but I have noticed pain on my right leg by calf muscle and underside of my thigh. I started noticing this a month after I got my Tesla. There are couple of seat positions (sitting low and back) that seems to be better but the pain comes and goes. I have not found a good solution yet. When I travel for 2 weeks and not driving Tesla, the pain goes away! I think there is something with the seat or accelerator position and/or tension, in Model S that is the cause. Love the car though!
 

Neech

Member
Jan 24, 2013
173
9
Chicagoland
I had plantar fasciitis in the months before getting my Tesla but have not had any problems in 6.5 months I've been driving the car. Your issue is probably just a coincidence.
 

ModelS1079

Member
Jun 23, 2012
871
140
Suburban Boston
I have definitely had this. Making it worse is a long trip in which I am toggling from acceleration to regen frequently, or when I am trying to minimize energy use/maximize mileage (rarely for ned, typically for fun), and holding up my foot to allow less accel/more regen. In any case, it can be quite uncomfortable.

Making it better: Angle the seat backwards, increasing thigh support, worry less about mileage, use a little less regen and a little more cruise control - I have not yet let up on regen, but I suspect that would help. FYI I think this is a real thing, but easily remedied.
 

wcalvin

Member
Apr 3, 2013
310
17
Seattle WA USA
Whenever I want to wiggle my right foot, I activate the cruise control and hover over the brake with my left foot. At stops, I hold with left and do circles with right.
 

Jason S

Model S Sig Perf (P85)
Apr 20, 2012
1,590
213
Rocklin, CA
I've noticed I want to fiddle with the seat settings quite a bit. Adjusting both seat and steering wheel. Initially I'm sitting very very high, at the limit of the seat. But lately I'm trying a lower adjustment.

Definitely take some time to rework seat settings until it is comfortable.
 

mjtgroup

Member
Feb 4, 2012
116
10
Funny thing, I noticed a unique pain in my foot after a several hour trip in our Model S. Seems like it might be harder to push than a traditional gas pedal. That said, I'll take the discomfort and pain but don't mess with my Model S!
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,610
3,207
Funny thing, I noticed a unique pain in my foot after a several hour trip in our Model S. Seems like it might be harder to push than a traditional gas pedal. That said, I'll take the discomfort and pain but don't mess with my Model S!
When in the red zone of SOC, the pedal resists more (dude I'm low, plug me on). Otherwise, the pedal feels very soft/responsive compared to my prior (lower torque) vehicles.
 

TeslaSinHR

Member
May 27, 2013
73
3
Bellevue, WA
I don't have plantar fasciitis but I have noticed pain on my right leg by calf muscle and underside of my thigh. I started noticing this a month after I got my Tesla. There are couple of seat positions (sitting low and back) that seems to be better but the pain comes and goes. I have not found a good solution yet. When I travel for 2 weeks and not driving Tesla, the pain goes away! I think there is something with the seat or accelerator position and/or tension, in Model S that is the cause. Love the car though!


I had a similar problem. I found tilting the seat forward helped a lot so it wasn't putting as much pressure on my thigh (or calf - digging into the calf is only a problem for short folks like me).


Use cruise control more?


I already use cruise control whenever I can. One thing I don't like is how the max regen engages when you cancel the CC - like when I'm approaching a stop or getting too close to the car in front of me. My workaround is put a little pressure on the accelerator and then gently let if off - but I also suspect this is what is aggravating my foot.


Funny thing, I noticed a unique pain in my foot after a several hour trip in our Model S. Seems like it might be harder to push than a traditional gas pedal. That said, I'll take the discomfort and pain but don't mess with my Model S!


Haha! I feel the same way. But I'm quite certain I will find a solution so I don't have to endure pain.
 

Mariam

New Member
Jan 17, 2015
1
0
Berlin, Germany
I do!

I have pain in my right foot for a while now. I started driving four months ago and I thought that might be a reason. Reading what you have is exactly what I have though the pain in my case is worst when I go to bed at night.
please let me know if anything help.
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,527
1,979
SF Bay Area
My right leg was cramping/painful after driving long distances when I first got the car. Changing my seating position solved the issue. Higher and more upright seating position worked for my body. Side effect was better visibility.
 

gzerninplatz

Member
Aug 24, 2014
329
125
Portland OR
I believe it is from the tension created by trying to modulate the pedal exactly, not using more energy than needed, not slowing down to quickly...my foot & calf felt a lot better when I moved the seat further back, so my leg was straighter and more relaxed in normal driving position. I adjust it for different shoes and different coats to keep the leg in the same position -
 

bxr140

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
2,990
4,748
Bay Area
I'd really like to see Tesla to add easily selectable regen. With the new 6.1 functionality on the steering wheel buttons, the right scroll wheel is a perfect place. 3-5 options from zero to 60kw (or possibly even more...) would be perfect.

More on topic, I use cruise for most steady state freeway driving...but that's not a Tesla induced behavior.
 

Cottonwood

Roadster#433, Model S#S37
Feb 27, 2009
5,088
173
Colorado
I believe it is from the tension created by trying to modulate the pedal exactly, not using more energy than needed, not slowing down to quickly...my foot & calf felt a lot better when I moved the seat further back, so my leg was straighter and more relaxed in normal driving position. I adjust it for different shoes and different coats to keep the leg in the same position -

A simple solution to this for highway cruising, is to put your foot on the right side of the accelerator pedal and rest the right side of your right foot against the carpet. If you do that, there is nice support of your foot and a lot of the tension goes away.

Of course, TACC helps a lot, also!
 

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