Driving a truck for hours on end can easily lead to severe back pain. When an individual sits for long periods of time, it causes the lower spine to compress and puts pressure on the discs and nerves. This can cause damage to the back that only gets worse the longer the person stays in a seated position. Also, heavy lifting can contribute to back issues as well. Both of these scenarios are ones that truck drivers face every day.
Studies have shown that almost 80 percent of the American population suffers from back pain and that truckers make up a significant amount these people. In some cases, the pain can become so severe that truckers have to look into other career options. If you are a Tom Rivers area trucker, the below tips can help you avoid back pain on your next haul.
Incorporate a stretching routine into your day. The constant vibrations of your truck will cause your muscles to tighten and this will only aggravate back and shoulder pain. To reduce the risk of a serious injury, you need to keep these muscles stretched. Just before you climb into the cab and every time you climb out of it, take two minutes to stretch with toe touches, lunges and any other movements that help loosen up tight muscles.
Lift with your legs
You have probably heard this most of your life, but that does not make it any less important. Be sure to always use your legs when you lift a heavy load. After sitting for hours behind the wheel, you are especially vulnerable to a back injury related to lifting if you do not use correct form.
Get in position
Always take the time to make sure that your seat is in the right position for your height and reach. Most trucks are designed to fit someone who is six feet tall. This means that if you are taller or shorter, you may need to make some minor adjustments. Not only will the right position make you more comfortable while you drive, it can help you avoid fatigue. When you are not seated correctly, the discs in your back are more likely to move out of position due to the strain of compensating for bad posture. Through some simple adjustments, you can achieve good posture and protect your back.
Keep it healthy
Sticking to a healthy and balanced diet can also help you avoid injuries. If you do happen to suffer from an injury due to driving or lifting, maintaining a healthy diet and weight can speed up the healing process. In addition, you should make an effort to stay hydrated while you are on the road.
While the above tips can help you avoid a work-related injury, sometimes it is impossible to avoid them. If you are suffering from a back injury due to driving a truck, you might be able to file a claim for your medical expenses and lost wages.