Truck Drivers and Back Injuries
Truck drivers are constantly on the road and are forced to sit down for extended periods of time. Very often, drivers are paid based on the number of miles they drive, meaning that if a driver is not on the road, they are not making money. Some truck drivers may also be responsible for making deliveries, such as those who drive for online retailers.
Someone who is making deliveries of boxes of food and other supplies, and doing so in a relatively quick fashion, will always run the risk of overexerting and injuring their back or slipping and falling. But what about those drivers who shuttle cargo and do very little manual unloading and loading? How can sitting cause back injuries?
Much has been written about the effect that prolonged periods of sitting can have on the lower back. Sitting puts large amounts of pressure on the back muscles and spinal discs, additionally sitting with poor posture can lead to the stretching of the spine and additional pain in the future.
However, recent studies by researchers in Japan and Iran have revealed that truck drivers can also develop back pain and injuries due to prolonged exposure to vibration and road shock. Both the Iranian and Japanese researchers found a direct correlation between drivers who had a long work history of driving trucks and lower back pain. Trucks that haul large loads are not typically designed for driver comfort but many now include air-ride seats that provide much more cushion to the driver. These seats diminish the amount of impact and road vibration that transfers to the driver. However, these seats are not completely insulating, and over years of exposure, the backs of truck drivers can develop problems and pain that require treatment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that of the 47,560 injuries suffered by truck drivers, 7,860 of those were back injuries – the most of any injury category for truck drivers. Truck drivers, like any other worker, are susceptible to back injuries that must be properly treated to ensure that the pain resulting from the injury is limited to the fullest extent possible.