Ways Truck Drivers Can Avoid & Deal With Back Pain
The term “occupational hazard” was coined to refer to certain risks or dangers that were just an associated part of a job. Welders, for example, have to deal with the fact that the light of a welding torch can permanently blind the human eye. When it comes to trucking, muscle and back pain are inevitable occupational hazards for one simple reason. Truckers spend hours during work sitting in the same position when the human body is meant to move around.
At some point, every truck driver is going to experience some back pain, but there are ways that you can try to deal with this pain, or take steps to mitigate it. First, let’s take a look at what, exactly, is going on with your back.
How Back Pain Happens
You’d think that if you’re not straining your muscles, lifting heavy objects, or performing some demanding athletics that push you to your limit, you should be fine. After all, if you’re just sitting, you’re relaxing, right? Why should this cause back pain?
Most sitting positions—especially in a truck that is shaking and vibrating—put your body into a posture that is not all that healthy. Your back is bent in a “C” posture that actually puts a strain on certain muscles and ligaments. If you were just watching a movie this way for an hour or two, it wouldn’t be so problematic, but if you’re driving for hours at a time like this, for days, this really begins to add up for your back. This can eventually result in not just back pain, but neck pain and even leg pain if your circulation starts to get affected.
It might be viewed as a luxury item, but in reality, the expense of an ergonomic seat cushion goes a long way towards giving your back the proper support and posture it needs to help fight off a lot of the discomfort and improper positioning that comes with standard truck driving seats. Just adding support in the right places and forcing the back into a healthier posture can have an immediately noticeable impact on comfort while driving.
You’ll be able to drive for much longer stretches without feeling the strain, and, once you stop driving and get out of your truck, you’ll feel better as well. Make sure to buy a quality seat cushion that is ergonomic, so it fits your back better.
Sit Down Properly
Another important thing to do is make sure you are actually taking advantage of what your seat offers you, especially if you’ve got a cushion. If you have a big, thick wallet that you keep in your back pocket, remove it. This can have an effect on your posture.
If you don’t have a seat cushion try to sit up straighter and don’t always relax back into your seat. These little changes in position can have a big effect on your muscles and the strain they experience.
Exercise When You Stop
You don’t need to go out and jog a mile, but once you get to a rest stop and hop out of the truck to stretch your legs, try to actually get in some good stretches, and not just for your legs. Give your body a good workout, and, if you’re feeling up to it, even consider a little bit of yoga. Serious stretching is exactly what your muscles need when you’ve been in one position for too long.
With these tips, you can help avoid major muscles strain, but when it does happen, just remember inflamed muscles always appreciate a little ice.