Finding a Family Car That Didn’t Increase My Pain

Psoriatic arthritis creates enough pain in my life and the last thing I need is to add to it. With that said, I had no clue how much our family vehicle was increasing my pain level until I drove a car that didn’t.

Unnecessary pain

Until that day I thought that the pain I experienced in my lower back, hips, shoulders, and neck after driving was just part of living with PsA and fibromyalgia. In addition to that pain, I would often dislocate my hip while climbing in and out of our SUV. Renting a car for our family vacation made it very clear that it was possible for me to drive without additional pain.

Finding the perfect fit

When the time came for my husband and me to purchase a new vehicle, we wanted to make sure it would not increase my pain. In the past I made this judgment after a 15-30 minute test drive. However, this system, the same we used when we purchased our SUV, wasn’t good enough. So this time, instead of going for test drives, we rented the vehicles we were interested in. This gave me the opportunity to see how my body would react while running errands and sitting for hours in L. A. traffic. I knew we had a winner when I arrived home after sitting on the freeway for three hours without any additional pain.

Worth the price

While renting several vehicles put a dent in my bank account, it was worth every penny. I look at the expense as an investment. Instead of purchasing a vehicle and hoping that I will be comfortable driving it for long periods of time, I was able to buy one that I know I will enjoy driving for many years. I had to give up a few luxuries in order to be able to afford the make and model I wanted, but less pain is way more important than a few extra bells and whistles.

Do you consider your chronic illness when purchasing a vehicle?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


View Comments (2)
  • imschmarte
    9 months ago

    What a great idea Cynthia!! I too have a lot of pain when driving. Plus our car sits so low to the ground, I have a hard time getting out. We will be in the market soon for a new car, and I will definitely it like you did! Thanks for posting!!

  • Sean
    9 months ago

    It’s interesting that you covered this topic because it’s one I bet a lot of PsA sufferers deal with but one I’ve never seen talked about.

    I have anklosing spondylitis to go along with my PsA and the right car is CRITICAL. I got lucky with regards to my own vehicle – a Hyundai Genesis Sports Coup, which I purchased in 2012 before I even knew I had PsA. For whatever reason the seats don’t exacerbate my pain at all. The seats in my wife’s SUV, on the other hand, make my back ache and my ears ring.

    Find the right car, especially if you drive a lot? Crucial.

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