Truck drivers have a physically taxing job that requires them to sit in a vehicle for long periods of time, drive to different places, and sometimes help with loading and unloading equipment. These tasks can create a physical strain on a trucker and lead to the development of specific injuries. These are some of the injuries that truck drivers commonly develop, as well as the remedies for each of them.
Lower Back Pain
Back injuries are some of the most common injuries that impact truck drivers. This damage can be caused by performing stationary activities like driving, followed up by strenuous activities like lifting heavy objects. Even a truck seat’s slight movement or vibration over a long duration of time can contribute to back injuries. Injuries like these are caused by biomechanical problems associated with the spine. They are caused by poor postures, constant vibration, and abnormal loading of the spine.
Trucker drivers can treat lower back pain, as well as other related injuries like tension headaches, sciatica pains via herniated discs, and sore necks, through the following activities:
- Soft tissue therapy
- Spinal adjustments
To prevent these injuries, it is also important to practice better posture positions, as well as stretching and strengthening before performing physical labor. Even when sitting for hours, some stretching and cardio can relieve the body from some pain. To reduce loading of the spine, practice these proper lifting techniques:
- Lift with your legs, not back
- Avoid forcing muscles to perform work
- Use a back brace
- Wear work gloves
- Ask for supervision or assistance
Tendinitis occurs when someone twists, strains, or turns in an improper manner. This condition causes damage to the tendons located in the shoulders, neck, and other joints. Just like lower back pain, tendinitis can be treated through the following methods:
- Ice/cooling therapy between 24 to 48 hours of inflammation
- Gentle stretching
- Soft tissue therapy
As with lower back pain, a truck driver can prevent tendinitis through proper stretching before a physical activity, as well as avoiding repetition and pacing oneself while performing an activity. Practice of the previously-mentioned lifting techniques can also reduce the chances of a tendon injury.
Bursitis occurs when bursa sacs, which help the bones and the muscles stay lubricated become inflamed, resulting in reduction of one’s range of movement and pain. This condition is often a result of high-risk activities but can occur due to poor posture and lack of stretching and conditioning before exercise or a physical activity. A trucker can treat bursitis through the following remedies:
- Resting the injured area
- Icing/cooling the injury
- Taking anti-inflammatory medicines
As with most trucker-related injuries, a driver prevents bursitis through proper stretching and preparation before physical activity. When a trucker has better posture and positioning when driving the vehicle, as well as practice proper lifting techniques to prevent further injury can eliminate injury.
While these are all different kinds of injuries, lack of body conditioning and stretching, as well as poor posture habits, can be a factor in all of them. Taking simple steps, like performing a light warm-up routine before physical activity, sitting correctly, and safe lifting techniques can reduce nearly 50% of common trucker injuries.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally written for the GTG Technology Group, Steps to Avoid 3 Common Trucker Injuries.