In case you’re wondering, the idea for Alignment Wedges came to me when I was driving between Michigan and Florida several times a year. I was aching when I was driving and then I’d be stiff and sore for days afterwards. I had neck wedges that I’d use for some relief along my back, but a lot of my problem was the aching in my legs. I would hold my hand between my leg and the door, giving some relief – but it’s difficult to drive that way for sustained periods of time and my hand would get tired. I tried sticking a water bottle between my leg and the door. That helped a little, but was awkward. I wished there were something comfortable and safe that I could stick between my leg and the door. But there wasn’t. So I created the ideal solution.
As a massage therapist and bodyworker for over 25 years, I realized that part of what was making me walk funny when I got to rest areas after driving 3-4 hours was that my legs were rolling out, externally rotating my hips when I rested my left leg against the door and my right leg against the console. After being in this misaligned position for hours at a time, the effort to get my hips back into alignment when I got out of the car led to some painful walking and stiffness until I could work out those kinks. Additionally, after driving for two days, I would end up with pain that I couldn’t just walk off in a few minutes. It could take more than a week for me to feel back to normal.
As I thought about it, I realized that sitting with the hips externally rotated like that could create imbalance in the pelvic floor, which could result in the sacrum (the bone at the base of the spine) twisting in one direction or another, which could lead to lower back pain and imbalance, which could cause pain all the way up into the neck and shoulders. The body is all connected, after all, through the myofascial system – and imbalances in one area can lead to imbalance, pain, and restrictions in other areas.
So, I fashioned some wedges that I could tuck under my legs, holding my legs in alignment – and connected them with an elastic strap both so that they couldn’t fall at my feet and also so that the small pressure the strap exerted could create some myofascial release (reducing tension) along my Iliotibial Band (outer side of my thighs where most people store some tightness and restriction, which can lead to sciatic pain, knee strain, and other painful conditions and postural distortions).
After using my wedges for over a year, I can tell you that the results were awesome! Not only did I have significantly less pain while driving, I actually felt better after long drives! I am walking better than I have in years! I believe that is because while I’m driving, I am having basically a treatment that relaxes my legs. That has shown up in my life as improved mobility and less pain in general. From sports injuries as a kid, I have severe arthritis in both knees. I had been able to keep it mostly under control with yoga and stretching, but I still often walked with a noticeable limp. Since using Driving Wedges, I have little to no limp at all most of the time.
I must make a disclaimer here that I am making no medical claims for the Alignment Wedges. My personal results may not be typical.
The purpose of the Alignment Wedges is to keep your hips in proper alignment when you drive or sit for long periods of time – to keep your legs from rolling out. When I tuck them in, I notice a significant improvement in comfort right away. Immediately.
I use Alignment Wedges all of the time – even for just a short ride down the street. For me, they make driving so much more comfortable! I also use them now in my recliner chair. I noticed I was getting cramps in my left knee when sitting for a couple of hours watching a movie. Add in the wedges and no more cramps! They are so helpful!
PEOPLE WHO MAY BENEFIT FROM USING ALIGNMENT WEDGES:
*Anybody who drives
*Anybody who sits – Yes! Alignment Wedges can be used almost anywhere! Use them at home on the couch. Use them in the waiting room at the doctor’s (yes, I did that! – and it not only made me more comfortable, but people wanted to know about them). Use them at work while sitting at your desk. Use them while flying or traveling by train or bus (assuming there is room in the seat for them).
*People with prosthetic legs. A friend of mine introduced me to a friend of hers in a restaurant where they were dining. She told me her friend would like to try out the wedges. I ran out to my car to grab a pair and handed them to her friend. Within a minute, the woman told me that she wanted to purchase them. I was confused because that was so fast! How could she tell? She explained that she has a prosthetic leg, the weight of which was constantly pulling on her hip. The wedges gave her immediate support and relief.