Honda Civic seat and muscle pain

I developed an inflamed muscle in my left leg at about the same time I bought my daughter’s 1997 Civic LX and drove it cross country. Are these two events related? Anybody else have problems with Civic seats or am I conflating two things that have nothing to do with one another?

A cross-country drive would be enough to inflame my leg muscles no matter what I was drivin depending on how many days I took to do it. Greater than 10 days, I would probably be fine.

The problem is not so much the seat as it is the height of the seat. Honda seats are, unfortunately, set very low to the floor of the car, thus leading to a position of having your legs extended forward much more so than in other makes of car.

I know about this topic because I had a '92 Accord, and I was unable to drive that car for more than an hour or so without leg and lower back pain. The only solution was to get a different car, and I found that the higher-mounted seats in an Outback allowed me to drive for many hours without discomfort.

If the muscle inflammation/pain doesn’t go away I would see the doctor…prolonged sitting can cause blood clots and phlebitis and these can lead to serious medical conditions…

Very good point! Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) can be life-threatening.

I had exactly the same problem with an 1993 Oldsmobile 88. Even though it had a power seat that would adjust in all different directions, like you, I couldn’t drive the car for maore than an hour without lower back and leg pains. My wife and I have learned to try on cars for seat fit just as one tries on a pair of shoes. We presently have a 2003 Toyota 4Runner and a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander. We like the seating positions in these cars and can drive all day without discomfort. I think it is the height of the seats that make the difference.

Try adjusting the seat position occasionally. I routinely drive 500-1000 miles in one day and find that moving the seat adjustments every couple of hours helps prevent stiffness. Also, I like to stop every few hours and get out of the car for a few minutes, maybe one extra stop between each fuel stop.

Yes, my girlfriend doesn’t like sitting in my Civic for long periods. I think it has something to do with the size of her behind. She has inherited wide hips from her Basque ancestors. Civic seats are made to be light weight. They are not the most comfortable seats in the industry. If you aren’t too tall, you could try some pillows or cushions.

Yes, they are related. One other poster made an excellent point about seeing a doctor.

The cause of the pain could be a number of things including too much pressure on your thigh or even periformis syndrom, an inflammation of the nerve that runs through your pelvis next to a specific muscle. The solution could be anything from an aftermarket seat pad to a foam block to rest your left foot on. You’ll have to experiment with some different ideas, but the odds are good that something out there will work for you.

Thanks for the suggestions. No blood clots; that’s been tested for. I’ll try a cushion and see how it works. I’ve driven long distances in my Camry and never had a problem, so I’m glad to know that my instincts about the seat aren’t misplaced.

If you need to fix this, seats from the closely-related Acura might transplant relatively easily and might be better. Check on a Civic board.

Honda feels the need to have oversized leg bolsters. The car magazine editors like them so Honda likes them. I have the same problem you have in Hondas, but I found that moving the seat up a couple of notches relieves the pain but causes me to drive faster.

You might also consider a chiropractor. They specialize in joint manipulation. Your legs might feel bad because of an inflamed hip joint. The chiropractor may also massage the muscle if it is the only thing involved. If you go to a doctor, go to a Doctor of Physical Medicine or a Doctor of Osteopathy. Do not see and Osteopathic Surgeon first.