We all know that after long hours in the truck, you can be stiff and sore. In fact, many truck drivers even suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). They are actually one of the most common workplace injuries and it is due to the nature of how it happens. Let’s find out a little bit more about musculoskeletal disorders and how they happen and what you can do to prevent them.
Musculoskeletal disorders are things like pain or injury that can include the muscles, the joints, and other things that will support your torso and neck and back. So, a common MSD injury is back pain. Back, shoulder, and neck pain is very common on the road, and most people have experienced it. It’s usually easily resolved with a few good night’s sleep and relaxation, but when you have a job that continually exposes you to factors that lead to that injury, like truck driving, it can lead to other issues. Musculoskeletal disorders that are continuous can be a big problem down the road in your life.
When you are on the road day in and day out, you have little choice but to adjust your personal routine because your trucking schedule is likely not going to change. You may be wondering what kind of steps that you can take to relieve the stress that sitting in one position all day does. Well, there are a few main steps that you can take, and these involve proper posture, stretching, and off duty care.
In this respect, truck driving and an office job in a cubicle are very similar. To remain in good health without MSD injuries, you must have proper sitting posture throughout the day. What does this mean? Number one, it means checking out your seating situation in your truck. Make sure that you have good cushioning for your bottom. Whether that’s a floating or air seat, make sure that it is providing you with adequate support throughout the day. You don’t want to be having problems because of your seat.
In this same vein, make sure that you have adjusted your seat for your specific posture, weight, and height in accordance with the specs from the manufacturer. If this isn’t exactly right for you, you can adjust it a little bit. However, keep in mind what’s comfortable for you at the beginning of your journey may not be the right fit by hour five. This is why it’s usually best to stick with manufacturer recommendations.
Here’s another important point that many people forget: make sure to stretch! It may seem silly while you’re doing it, but when you pull a muscle you’ll think it’s silly you didn’t take the time to stretch first! Not only does stretching help work out the kinks from driving for long hours and help your body get back in alignment, it also helps in other ways. Have you ever been about to unload the truck in the cold and all is well. However, the next day you’re sore as could be? That’s because you didn’t stretch and were tense from the cold! It’s just as important to stretch in intervals while driving as it is to stretch before unloading cargo. While it may seem like you’re wasting time or not as “tough” as everyone else who isn’t stretching, you’re being cautious of your health and wellbeing and that’s what matters.
When you are off duty, it’s very important that you not only take that time to relax and get things done that you need to. You need to also take care of your body! Take some time away and get a massage, take anti-inflammatory medicine if necessary, and use heat/ice if necessary. Make sure that if you have pain you’re taking care of it so that it doesn’t get worse. That is the most important step in pain and injury control–recognizing that you’re hurt and taking care of it!
At Osco Tank & Truck Sales, we know that for most the harvest season is over and it’s time to have some relaxation, but keep these tips in mind for the coming season. Take some time to relax and recharge. We wish you a wonderful holiday season!