Unfortunately for professional truckers, pain is often part of the job. Sitting in the same spot for hours at a time, and not having much of an opportunity to get a lot of exercise even when they're not behind the wheel, really takes its toll. So the question many haulers may ask is simple: "What can I do to combat all my aches and pains?"
While there are no hard and fast rules here - every body is different, after all - there are a number of issues that pro drivers need to keep in mind:
1) Watch your back
One of the most common afflictions for many people who remain seated for large portions of the day is even more problematic for truckers, according to Back On Site. Sitting for hours at a time compresses the spinal cord and the lack of movement and exercise also weakens the support muscles in the back, which really packs a double punch.
But truckers have it even worse because of how much their big rigs usually vibrate. That jostling can only serve to make compression of the spinal cord even greater, the report said. There are ways to avoid the issue, though. That includes sitting with a better posture - right up on your steering wheel, rather than leaning back - with two hands on the wheel at all times, and making sure your truck is well-serviced so the vibrations are kept to a minimum.
2) What you (k)need to know
Truckers often find that in addition to their backs, their knees are at greater risk for injury as well, according to Trucking SOS. This is usually for similar reasons to back problems - lack of exercise, predisposition to gaining weight, etc. - but the solution is a little different. Drivers who notice little aches and pains in their knees would be wise to get out and stretch their legs for at least a little while every day, even with a simple walk, and also invest in proper shoes that provide plenty of support.
For those whose knee pain seems to be getting worse, it's important to talk to a doctor or start wearing a brace of some kind to keep their knees properly aligned.
3) Lifting problems
Another major risk truckers need to be aware of is that when they get out of their tractor trailers and try to lift something, there are plenty of ways for them to injure some part of their body, back, knee or otherwise, according to the Canada Department of Labour. The best way to avoid that kind of mishap is by taking a few minutes to walk around and stretch in preparation for the exertion.
The more truckers can do to be proactive about identifying and addressing particular pain issues, and deal with doctors or physical therapists who will help them find workable solutions for strengthening the problem area, the better off they are likely to be.
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