San Diego truck drivers endure exhausting and physically demanding job duties each day. The McLaughlin & Sanchez has seen firsthand how this kind of work can affect truck drivers. Over time, it can result in physical wear and tear and the development of conditions that require treatment and time spent away from work.
One of those conditions is musculoskeletal pain, a long-term injury that can develop from maintaining poor posture, lifting repeatedly, and sitting for long periods of time. When certain muscles are overused or not used enough, they can shorten or become weak. This can throw the entire body off and affect the back, neck, shoulders, knees and hips. Other conditions associated with musculoskeletal pain can include anxiety, disrupted sleep and depression.
According to Hinge Health, about 54 percent of the adult workforce in the U.S. suffers musculoskeletal pain at some point each year. Workers often experience persistent low back pain, which is the second cause of missed work days (after the common cold) for those under 45 years old. It also makes up a quarter of all workers’ compensation claims.
From 2000 to 2014, injuries involving the lower back were the most common among workers across the state of California.
How truck drivers are affected
In a survey conducted by researchers at The University of Waterloo in Canada, approximately 107 male truck drivers at two truck stops in Ontario were polled. The survey found that 61 of respondents (57 percent), had experienced musculoskeletal pain within the last 30 days.
This condition among truck drivers was attributed to:
- Sitting in their vehicles for long periods of time
- Whole body vibration while driving
- Sitting or working in awkward postures
- Repeated lifting
- Poor fitness levels
- Job satisfaction
In order to mitigate this common problem, some trucking companies have begun installing seats that reduce vibrations, modifying job duties, and encouraging truck drivers to exercise and maintain healthy diets. However, these measures can only reduce the likelihood of truckers developing musculoskeletal pain, not prevent it altogether.
Why you should seek medical treatment
If all you’re feeling is pain and discomfort due to your job, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Musculoskeletal pain can worsen over time if left untreated. In far too many cases, truck drivers develop lifelong pain and health complications after years of ignoring this condition.
Treatment may require:
- Anti-pain and anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Therapeutic massage
- Osteopathic treatment
- Exercise routine
If you’re experiencing chronic musculoskeletal pain due to your job, it’s important that you report it to your employer as soon as possible. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which will cover your medical expenses and lost wages while you recover.