- Awkward sitting posture/s
- Constant body vibration
- Extended sitting
- Lifting and loading
- Repetitive motions
- Strained muscles, nerves, discs, and joints
- Improper mechanics
- No exercise
- Improper Diet
Long HaulThese individuals are taught proper lifting techniques but with time forget to follow them during the rush to make the delivery/s on time. Driving for extended periods regularly places added strain on the back. This is due in part because these individuals can’t use their feet to support the lower part of their bodies while working the pedals of the truck. The continuous instability, vibrations, and positional changes that come with long haul driving can cause tension in the spine and surrounding muscles in the area. Research has shown that vibration of the body while driving increases the load on the lower back and driving on roads that are not maintained can exacerbate the condition.
- Facet joint syndrome – the cartilage wears away making the spinal joints stiff and swollen. This syndrome can lead to reduced mobility.
- Vertebrae rubbing together
- Spinal compression from sitting in a single position for a long time places pressure on the spinal column. As the spinal column compresses, it causes tightness in the lower and upper back muscles.
- Sciatica is a combination of symptoms and pain that travel from the lower back to the knee and even into the foot. Usually, caused by a herniated disc that compresses the sciatic nerve, it can cause shooting electrical pain down the leg. Drivers with sciatica can also have tight gluteal muscles that place pressure on the nerve.
- Neck pain from tight and tender muscles can affect the middle back and cervical/neck area of the spine causing soreness.
- Tension headaches begin with the muscles at the base of the skull. When these muscles are tight, they can pinch the nerves, beginning a headache.
- Shoulder pain can be caused by overuse when loading, along with rotator cuff injuries and bicep tendonitis. An inflamed bicep can cause inflammation and pain in the shoulder.
Preventable and TreatablePrevention and proper treatment are key. Here are a few simple ways to improve the drive:
- Better seating to reduce vibration
- Correct sitting posture
- Chiropractic/physical therapy
- Proper diet
- Ice therapy
- Proper sleep support
Proper SeatThe seats that are standard in a truck do not offer proper support for a driver’s back, shoulders, neck, and legs. A seat pad for extra comfort or a memory foam seat with a massage base can relax the muscles. For quick lumbar support roll up a pillow, towel or t-shirt and place it behind the lower back. An ergonomic truck seat helps fight the discomfort and awkward positions, that result in positive posture. A proper seat will force the back into its healthy arch. Driving with less strain helps:
- Boost circulation
- Distribute the body weight evenly
- Helps drivers operate longer
- Reduces the vibrations running through the body