Being a truck driver comes with its perks, in fact we’ve talked about them before here, but just like any other profession there are some pitfalls. For truck drivers, a common complaint is how to deal with back pain.
What are your options when a requirement of your job (sitting for long hours) can also lead to potential physical issues? There are plenty of preventative exercises and modifications that you can implement to keep yourself healthy and safe.
Driving Doesn’t Have to Be A Pain the Back
With the right prevention plan, you don’t have to let back pain become the norm or even take you out from behind the wheel. Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal? Untreated back pain will cost you—physically, emotionally, and financially by taking you off the road and into a doctor’s offices or even physical therapy. Important: these tips are presented as suggestions to help minimize the potential for back pain. They are not intended to be substitutes for consulting with a medical professional.
- Make Adjustments: The first and easiest step to preventing back pain is to mind your posture. For starters, take everything out of your pockets when driving. Sitting on wallets, checkbooks, cell phones, etc. can actually affect your posture. Try to catch yourself when you slouch and straighten up, also avoid sitting back into your seat!
- Invest in a Proper Seat: Your truck is your office, you spend a LOT of time in the cab so make it as comfortable as possible. Splurge on a proper and comfortable seat. Memory foam and heated seat covers are both popular, but truly any ergonomic seat cushion can help. Another important feature you want to look for is a seat with shock absorption as repeated vibrations can actually do a lot of damage to your back, arms, and elbows over time.
- Stretch When You Stop: Getting acquainted with a regular stretch routine at stops could be a huge help and give your body the relief it needs after hours on the road. Many drivers see success with yoga style stretches like downward dog, cat-cow pose, and child’s pose may offer relief. If you start feeling stiff while driving and can’t stop, try some stretches like bending your chin to your chest and looking side to side to loosen things up.
- Strengthen Your Core: The best preventative measure to take in avoiding back pain is to strengthen your core. A strong core will prevent and alleviate back pain. Planks, bridges, and crunches are all good exercises to incorporate into a weekly routine. New to exercise and not sure where to begin? Try using a free fitness app for some pointers and even guided exercises. We wrote a post highlighting some of our favorite free fitness apps, you can check it out here!
Driving a truck doesn’t have to be a pain in your back, but it will require some planning and preventative measures. We hope these tips have been helpful and will be a good starting point to take care of yourself!