Chronic back pain is a serious condition that affects a large portion of the population. The reasons are varied from pulling a muscle to being in an accident. The one thing these all have in common is the excruciating and lasting pain. Although there are many reasons people develop chronic back pain, trucking is at the top of the list. If you are an individual that at one time suffered from chronic back pain, trucking is not an occupation you want to get into.
Back pain, especially lower back pain is the second most reason why people see a doctor, behind colds and flu. Statistics show that up to 60% of the population may see a doctor in any given year for back pain. Of all the reasons a person may get chronic back pain, trucking is one of the most frequent. Not only does sitting in one place for a long time in a truck aggravate a back problem, but it can often be the cause of chronic back pain. Trucking is an occupation where the driver puts in many hours each day, sitting in the same position with very few breaks in a day. Unlike some things that cause chronic back pain, trucking is one where there is little or no break in the routine.
If you’re playing a game of tennis or jogging and develop back pain, you will rest for days afterwards to give your back a chance to heal. Truck drivers, on the other hand, have to keep going day after day doing the same thing that caused the problem. Truckers, especially over the road drivers, don’t get home often enough to seek medical attention for something they think will go away on their days off or on its own. The result is that it eventually turns into chronic back pain. Trucking companies are constantly being urged to upgrade the equipment in their trucks such as the steering wheel and seats.
Steering wheels should be able to be adjusted for the driver’s reach and rake. The seats should not only be comfortable but should be able to be adjusted for tilt and height. With the truck drivers spending as much time as they do driving on the road, they need every advantage possible for good ergonomics and safe driving. The upholstery and structure of the seat should also be designed to hit the human body. If truck drivers are to avoid chronic back pain, trucking companies need to work towards making their trucks more “driver friendly”. This not only helps the driver, but also will help the trucking company avoid potential workmen’s compensation claims.